A political satire that is more crude and ridiculous than smart or witty, The Campaign stars two of the funniest comedians, Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis, who, unfortunately, do little to inspire laughter. It is scary, however, how close this movie is to the truth of American politics.
Ferrell plays Cam Brady, a sleazy, two-faced and lazy North Carolina congressman who has run unopposed for years, that is until millionaire brothers (Dan Aykroyd and John Lithgow) decide to find a political puppet for their Chinese labour scheme. Enter Galifianakis as the effeminate and clueless owner of a tourism shop, Marty Huggins. However, it is Dylan McDermott (The Practice/American Horror) who surprisingly steals the show as a brutal and manipulative campaign manager.
The movie follows the cruel game of one-upmanship Ferrell and Galifianakis play on the campaign trail. From verbal jibes to ‘hunting accidents’ and from fist fights to sleeping with the other’s wife, there is, as the movie states at the beginning, no rules in politics.
In terms of laughs, the movie falls painfully short. If the screenplay and director, Jay Roach (Austin Powers), allowed Ferrell and Galifianakis room for improvisation it would have improved (pun intended) the comedy. The end half also attempts to instil a ‘touching resolution’ which feels greatly out of place, given the tone of complete ridiculousness that runs throughout the movie.
Sadly, I give The Campaign 2 out of 5. If you are after a crude and yet incredibly smart and witty political satire, check out the HBO series Veep, starring Julia Louise-Dreyfus on Showcase. Or if you are after hilarious and raw Zach Galifianakis humour, check out his YouTube series Between Two Ferns. And for Ferrell, we may all just have to wait until Anchorman 2 comes out next year.
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