16 November 2012

The Campaign review

Recommended to me by a friend I watched "The Campaign" with Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis the other day - and have to say it is one of the funniest if not THE funniest movie I have seen this year.

I'm not overly familiar with Galifianakis except for his part in the Hangover movies where he was just odd. In this movie his character is an extreme underdog looking like a nerd and being all soft and nice (I'm pleasantly surprised that they avoided making any gay jokes about his appearance because that would have been too easy).

Will Ferrell is a hit or miss to me, he basically plays the same moron character in every single movie. His success in movies depend on whether his character fits into the plot or whether the plot itself is strong enough to carry him. As such I found his retarded mannerisms especially funny in Step Brothers while it falls flat in many of his other movies. His "character" stereotype however works quite well in the Campaign where he plays a career politician who doesn't give a shit about anything but staying in office, wonderfully presented by a montage of clips where he visits various work environments and telling the press how the particular job is "the backbone of America" (this starts out in schools and army related locations and ends up on a fun fare, lol).

In any case, the plot is that a corporation has grown tired of the shipping cost of cheap products transported from China to the US so they figure out a way to buy up some land in a small town - and by bending the legislation making it possible to import Chinese workforce to work in America ("insourcing") for the same low salary as they had back in China. To do this the corporation need a gullible idiot in office of the local county whom they can control, and so they pick up Galifianakis character, Marty, and make him run for office against Will Ferrell "Cam Brady". Since Cam Brady is this veteran of 4 consecutive terms the evil corporation gives Marty a campaign manager wonderfully played by Dylan McDermott who comes up with many devious plans on how to ruin the public opinion of the rival candidate and by strict control also change Marty's lifestyle and appearance from this nerdy kind person to a slick politician with guns and paintings of eagles on the wall..

I won't talk too much about the plot, jokes and twists because that would naturally spoil much of the fun. But I can say that the only times I laugh out loud when I'm watching comedy by myself is when I watch It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, the humor in The Campaign is pretty close in how the jokes are set up, the improbable stuff happening, the outrageous language and crazy characters.

I think the movie is a good satire of the political system, any political system really not just the American one. It does a good job without being preachy or too much on the nose.

The movie may not be for everyone, and it is at times quite vulgar (a wonderfully funny scene where Will Ferrell has to recite the Lord’s prayer by taking cues from his campaign manager is comedy gold). But many jokes are also hilarious without being anything but weird, like when Galifianakis character tells a story about his Pugs trying to get in under his sofa. I recommend it, compared to a lot of other Will Ferrel movies this one had a good enough plot and very good balance between his and Galifianakis character so that it doesn’t have to rely on stupid faces and noises that Ferrell usually ends up doing.



  1. Great review! I've seen this film advertised and thought it looked a laugh; thanks for this I will give it a look ;)


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