Movie Review: The Campaign (2012)

Jay Roach brings us some outrageous comedy just as he did in Meet The Parents, and Austin Powers. Except this time with some very well-timed planning it is hitting right here at the elections when most Americans may be most likely to give their curiosity a try, and check out a film that is playing on the common stereotypes we witness when two candidates campaign. The comedy almost comes satirical in nature.

Congressman, Cam Brady, is making another run for office, which he feels is almost guaranteed to him. Until two CEOs who want to gain more power of their North Carolina district decide they want to make an ideal candidate to rid Brady of his position. The guy believe they have found the perfect person to mold for their agenda in the director of a local Tourism Center, Marty Huggins. Huggins finds him, and his family in the middle of a tug of war between a companies agenda to gain more power, and Brady’s pride in being congressman.

It seems some things in this movie haven’t been as big a playing card in this year’s election like the religious aspect. While Obama has had to go on the defensive about how he is Christian, we have a candidate like Romney who it might be terrible for if he even tried to explain his religion. This has left this whole topic almost at a hush whereas in past elections it was a huge focus of the media, and some Americans questions about the candidates. We also see how a family is crafted to appeal to the American public through Marty Huggins who we can all admit doesn’t have the ideal family to be running for office.

Most people seem to like Zach Galifinakis despite the fact he plays characters we would all be annoyed by in our day to day life. For example, Alan from The Hangover is a creepy guy who has been banned from being around schools yet most people will list him as their favorite character from the movie. Marty Huggins isn’t creepy though. He’s just a guy who takes a lot of pride in North Carolina, which should be the appeal of him running to be a congressman for it, but the CEOs want to make him the ideal American superstar. Overall, Galifinakis continues to prove he is great at making characters comedic of all sorts. Will Ferrell seems to have struggled in the past with his movies really being appealing to audiences, but in this one he seems to have recovered some of that humor that people watched him for as Cam Brady, which honestly just feels like a Democrat version of the George Bush character he portrayed on SNL.

The Campaign has some really funny moments though. The funnier moments include watching Marty’s family be overhauled to be appealing in the campaign, and Cam visiting a Pentecostal church where he ends up participating in their snake holding sermon. Then there are moments that just seem to go to far overboard, and they aren’t funny anymore. Like when Cam seduces a woman to further his campaign efforts, and we have to watch an awkward, and out of place sex scene. While it’s shock might cause some laughter you also can’t help but ask was that necessary?

Enough laughs are provided to deliver what this movie intends. Galifinakis, and Ferrell also do play well off each other as two guys running against each other. Watching them compete is fun. While it has some over the top moments it also appeals to how many Americans are feeling right now toward the election process in general. If some moments could be toned a bit it would be a whole lot stronger, but it passes for being good.

Rating 4 of 5.

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