In order to gain influence over their North Carolina district, two CEOs seize an opportunity to oust long-term congressman Cam Brady by putting up a rival candidate. Their man: naive Marty Huggins, director of the local Tourism Center. (IMDB)
Writers: Chris Henchy, Shawn Harwell
Director: Jay Roach
Stars: Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis and Jason Sudeikis
Runtime/Rating: 85 Minutes/R
Popcorn Score: Medium Popcorn with Butter
The Campaign is a political movie for the non-political junkie. With as much parody as an SNL sketch, Will Farrell and Zach Galifianakis trip, stumble and bumble their way through a North Carolina congressional campaign trail providing tons of laughs in a textbook Will Farrell character comedy.
Before I go on about this predictably entertaining and lowbrow comedy, aren’t we to the point with Will Farrell movies where we no longer need to break down the point, plot and execution of the story, director and actors? In a review, can I simply give a brief summary of the story then add that it has all of the same elements of a Will Ferrell comedy… you know what you are getting, and enjoy? Well, I suppose I can.
The Campaign focuses on a stereotypical politician in this country, in this case a Congressman from North Carolina. He wears the best suits, has the perfect haircut, walks the center line to not offend anyone too much, and is fortunate that everyone turns the other way when he says the worst thing imaginable, flees the police in a cop car, or cheats on his wife with a 20 yr old fitness instructor. He is the congressman and he loves being the congressman. He is such a structure of state that no one even bothers to run against him. Enter the billionaire Motch Brother. (Fictional version of the real life Koch brothers, played by John Lithgow and Dan Aykroyd) They are campaign funding oil tycoons who can swing an election with just a fraction of their wealth. They decide that they need someone in office who they can puppeteer to promote a sweat shop factory that they would like launched in NC. The puppet they decide on is Marty Huggins, a public goofball who owns the unpopular tour department of the un-tour-worthy city.
The very funny campaign trail starts there and finishes with a touch of heart which makes you feel a little better about the fact that 45 minutes ago you laughed at a slow motion shot of a baby being punched in the face. Jason Sudeikis and Dylan McDermott (with the Seinfeld-call back character name Tim Wattley) help fill out the aforementioned cast with as many memorable takeaway lines as Anchorman and Old School.
Which brings me to back to my earlier question about what is the best way to review movies like The Campaign. This is a movie that you watch for no other reason than simply entertainment and from an actor where you pretty much know what you’re going to get. I would argue one way that is at least informative is comparison, or a list. Now I know many people don’t like lists and don’t like comparing one piece of film or art to another, but were talking about Will Farrell movies here so I’m going to make one! But first, to put a close on this review because I can’t promise it will make the list, I will just say that I highly recommend checking it out especially if you are the type that likes a good Will Ferrell flick.
Medium Popcorn with Butter.
Stay tuned for my upcoming list of Top 10 Will Farrell Movies!