Posted by: ckckred | August 27, 2012

The Campaign: Will Ferrell vs. Zach Galifianakis

A topical satire mocking campaign ads and corporation intervention

I went into The Campaign thinking it would be a fun Will Ferrell/Zach Galifianakis comedy.  Though the film is about an election, I wasn’t expecting really any mockery of the current campaign between Obama and Romney.  As it turns out, I was wrong about the second part.  The Campaign is a very funny movie that’s an unexpected satire.  It doesn’t go the same lengths as The Daily Show or Colbert Report, but it certainly points out some current trends going on in politics these days.

The film is about Cam Brady (Ferrell), a North Carolinian congressman who runs just because he likes being a congressman.  Ferrell plays Brady in a similar style in which he did with George Bush with a different haircut.  Brady has won the past four terms and enters the race unopposed, but after a recent dirty phone call sent to the wrong person, Brady’s challenged by Marty Huggins (Galifianakis), a moronic doofus who runs a local tour group.  Huggins is backed up by a pair of billionaire brothers (played by Dan Aykroyd and John Lithgow), who want Huggins, if elected, to sell out the district to the Chinese for cheap labor.

It’s obvious to see that this is a comparison to the real-life Koch brothers (the duo in the film has the similar last name “Motch”), and also SuperPACs, which allows corporations to dump millions of dollars into political campaigns.  The Campaign isn’t really making fun of either Democrats or Republicans (the roles of Brady and Huggins could be interchangeable within parties and not really make a difference), but dirty campaign business.  In one ad Marty gets Brady’s son to call him dad.  In another, Brady seduces Marty’s wife (Sarah Baker), tapes it, and puts it on air.  And of course there’s bickering at debates, trash talking, and baby punching.

Now The Campaign isn’t any kind of masterpiece.  Some parts feel a little stretched out, especially the ending and I thought the movie felt a little too forced.  But it’s solid entertainment and a fun, enjoyable movie that’s sure to make you laugh, especially if you enjoyed Ferrell’s other movies like Talladega Nights.

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