The Campaign

Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) is running for his fifth consecutive term as Congressman for a small district in North Carolina. Mitch (Jason Sudeikis) is his long time campaign manager. Although, he’s running unopposed, so there’s probably not much to that job.

That is, until the Motch brothers (John Lithgow and Dan Aykroyd) step in. They are looking to “insource” their doll factory. They want to build a factory in Brady’s district. They need a Congressman who is willing to help them bypass all the environmental and employee protection laws to double their double profits.

Since Brady is a womanizing loose cannon, whose numbers are slipping, The Motch brothers decide to find another candidate. Raymond Huggins (Brian Cox) was once a very powerful man with very powerful connections. So they set their eyes on one of his sons, Marty (Zach Galifianakis). Marty’s a well-meaning, soft-spoken, God-loving guy, married with two sons. He’s a bit off. But the Motch brothers think they can make it work.

To help ensure victory, they employ Tim Wattley (Dylan McDermott). He helps to transform Marty from a likeable goofball into a candidate who can win. Win at any cost.

The Campaign comes out of the gate at full throttle. The jokes are nonstop. And they are funny, even if vulgar and inappropriate. One has to wonder if they can keep up the pace for the entire movie. For the most part, they do. Right around the climax of the movie, things take a little more sober note. Exactly as I expected they would. But they keep enough levity in the less hysterical parts to make it work.

If you like Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis, you will like this movie. Will takes Talladega Nights‘ Ricky Bobby, mixes him with his George W. Bush character, and throws in some extra to craft an excellent character, even if it feels a little familiar. Zach does what he does best. He makes you laugh at his character’s uncomfortableness and fish-out-of-water feeling. The two work well together and create some good chemistry.

Dan Aykroyd and John Lithgow give the performance I expected. Unfortunately, that performance feels like a gimmick. I guess it works well for the characters, but the two are nowhere near where they were during their prime.

As funny as it is, and I laughed, out loud, for a good majority of the movie, it gives you a glimpse of the seedy underbelly of the political world. It is a true satire. You know that this type of dealing actually occurs in Washington. But the movie never takes itself seriously. At all.

If you’re a fan of Ferrell/Galifianakis style comedy, you’ll want to do yourself a favor and see this one. It’s definitely on par with Talladega Nights and Will’s other quality work.

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