Movie Review: The Campaign (2012)

Posted: March 16, 2013 in Comedy

the campaign

Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) is sitting pretty, he’s running unopposed for re-election in the 14th Congressional District in North Carolina.  He’s got a beautiful wife, named Rose (Katherine La Nasa) and two kids.  But that’s not enough for Cam, he also has a mistress named Shana (Kate Long Johnson. ) Cam somehow keeps Shana under wraps until he mistakenly calls a conservative Christian couple and leaves a lewd message on their answering machine, thinking that he’s calling Shana.

As his poll numbers drop, Cam gets an unlikely opponent, a tour bus operator named Marty Huggins. (Zach Galiifianakis).  Marty has two things going for him, his famous politician father, Raymond, (Brian Cox) and the unlimited campaign donations of the Moch Brothers (Dan Aykroyd & John Lithgow)  The first thing the Moch brothers do is hire political consultant Tim Wattley (Dylan McDermot) who immediately gets rid of Marty’s more feminine characteristics, and spoonfeeds him a bunch of poll tested applause lines.  Th Moch Brothers want to buy land in North Carolina, repeal minimum wage laws and EPA standards, and sell the factories back to Chinese at a handsome profit.  Marty is blissfully unaware of the Moch Brothers plans, and the race see-saws back and forth, until Election Day.  Who wins?  What happens to the Moch brothers plans?

I will say this to begin with, I had low expectations for this movie, but I liked it a lot.  It was very funny, sometimes silly, sometimes scatological, but often very funny.  I was pleasantly surprised at how much good political satire there was, and how on target it was, especially those surefire applause lines about the military, jobs and God. There are even scenes that remind me of Trading Places and dare I say it, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, in that an innocent guy is caught up in shady dealings by rich people.

Zach Galifianakis made me laugh from the time he came on screen, playing Marty, who his father calls a result of “Richard Simmons crapping out a Hobbit.”  Marty is a sweet, sensitive, kind soul, who turns on a dime, and becomes an attack dog. Galifianakis plays the role perfectly, and steals the movie. Will Ferrell is as funny as I’ve seen him in a long time, he has two character types, the jerky guy, and the innocent.  Lately the jerky guy character hasn’t worked too well for Ferrell, the Other Guys, Step Brothers, Semi Pro, but when it works, like in Anchorman, it’s very funny, and it works this time.  Sure he channels George W a lot, but it’s sufficiently different to make it funny on its own. Congratulations to Karen Maruyama for turning a stereotype on its head, by playing another stereotype, I thought she was very funny.

The Campaign.  I endorse this movie.

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