'The Campaign' Fails To Secure The Vote
In a nutshell, The Campaign shows the lengths to which candidates will go in order to win. Being a comedy, these lengths entail such lewd, lascivious and outrageous actions that it would be nearly impossible to believe any actual candidate would go to those extremes. Unfortunately, given the current state of our political discourse, it feels like we’re not so far away from seeing the acts perpetrated by the two protagonists, played by Will Ferrell and Zach Galifinakis, being attributed to real-life candidates.
Ferrell plays Cam Brady, a four-term congressman from North Carolina running unopposed until Galifinakis’s character Marty Huggins enters the race with the backing of the powerful Motch Brothers (Dan Aykroyd, John Lithgow) and a seedy campaign manager (Dylan McDermott). Unlike Brady, Huggins seems to have better intentions, but what he doesn’t know is that he’s being used to ensure a Motch Brothers business plan goes through without hindrance.
The film tries to blend in political commentary with humor, but the humor isn’t as strong as it can be considering the comedic giants who lead the film. There are comical moments, such as the baby-punching scene shown in trailers and the interactions between Brady and his campaign manager, played by SNL veteran Jason Sudeikis. But in an era in which news networks run 24/7 and political elections resemble horse races, a comedy like this doesn’t seem quite as groundbreaking. More fertile ground might have been found in the way talking heads go after each other over supposed gaffes and errors made by campaigns, and more comedy in the way candidates promote themselves at the expense of their opponents in real life.
The Campaign has funny moments, but is not a funny movie. If you’re looking for political comedy, save the $14 you would pay for the movie ticket and turn on the television for news coverage of the current campaigns. There’s no shortage of humor there.