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“The Campaign” – Early Review (POSITIVE)

August 9, 2012

Politics. It’s stupid. No really, it’s just stupid to me. One side is all ‘Me! Me! Me! Me’ and the other is all ‘No! No! No! No!’. We’re in an election year and personally I couldn’t give two shits about. In all honesty the what’s the point? Thank god for political satire to balance it all out. Director, Jay Roach, has brought us some top-notch political films on HBO; “Recount” & “Game Change”, he’s also responsible for the “Meet the Parents” & “Austin Powers” movies, so to bring his political side with slap stick humor may in fact be the combination he needs after coming off his last slumpy theatrical release (“Dinner for Schmucks”).

L-term congressman Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) commits a major public blunder before an upcoming election, a pair of ultra-wealthy CEO Koch brother types, the Motch brothers (Dan Aykroyd & Jon Lithgow), plot to put up a rival candidate and gain influence over their North Carolina district, so they may build their cheap doll factories run by young Chinese labor. The Motch brother’s pick is the naïve Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis), director of the local Tourism Center, and eccentric pug lover. At first, Marty appears to be the unlikeliest possible choice but with the help of his new benefactors’ support, a cutthroat campaign manager (Dylan McDermott) and his family’s political connections, he soon becomes a contender who gives the charismatic Cam plenty to worry about.

This movie pokes fun of pretty much all aspects of the political world we live in. You’ve got Cam who’s this scandal maker, a little bit of Nixon and a major dash of Clinton, and Marty is a bit of [Ross] Perot only with much less money. These guys are doofus’, neither one of them is a suitable candidate (for NC District 14 Congressman), but then again who is these days? The movie touches on all aspects of political woes we’ve heard about in recent memories; electoral issues in North Carolina, the Koch brother’s being an obvious, sexual scandals, in fact Marty says near the end of the film, ‘One moment you have your pants down to your ankles, then next you’re a Congressman, usually it’s the other way around’.

You cannot deny the PERFECT match-up of Ferrell & Galifianakis for this movie; two comics good at what they do, and yet have different ways of doing it. Some how it all mixes and mashes oh so perfectly. Ferrell being so ‘out there’, wild, crude, and physical comedy at his game like he usually does, and Zack being so eccentric and just plain weird and awkward. They’re polar opposites in comedy styles, much like how Mitt Romney & President Obama are in political policy. The best this satire offers is that the entire countries focus is all on these two goons when they really should be focusing on the Presidential election. We’re so caught up in media scandal, hype and mayhem that is literally consumes us.

The movie does however tend to fall flat in some areas, not too often, but it does drag, and that’s a major problem Will Ferrell faces with his movies at times. He tends to drag an improvised seen out just too damn long. This movie could’ve easily been an hour and thirty minutes long, but it wasn’t. Nevertheless, I’d still recommend this movie on many accounts; if you’re a Will Ferrell or Zack Galifianakis fan, you wanna see a political satire, or you wanna see a baby being punched in the face, trust me, it’s a lot funnier when you see it happen for real.

GRADE: B+

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