The Campaign is exactly what you expect it to be. An 85 minute comedy with Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis. If you’ve seen the trailers for the movie, you should know the basic plot and unfortunately will get most of the laughs. However, there are still some good ones to be had, just not as many as one would’ve hoped.
Cam Brady is a sitting Congressman of a North Carolina district and is on his way to becoming re-elected because he is running unopposed. However, after a scandalous phone call is made, two CEOs played by John Lithgow and Dan Aykroyd think they see an opening to gain control of that district by bringing in their own candidate to run against Cam Brady. Their choice is Marty Huggins, an operator of a local tourism company. On the outside he looks like a terrible choice, however he just happens to be born into a very powerful family.
Ferrell’s performance as Cam Brady was good, but I don’t think he was at his best here. He’s better in an ensemble, something like Anchorman or Old School. Everything he’s done where it’s just him and another person playing off each other just doesn’t work for me. Too much Ferrell, in a short period of time can be a bad thing.
Galifianakis plays Marty Huggins in a similar way to his Seth Galifianakis character. For those unfamiliar, in some of Zach’s comedy specials he’s used a character named Seth who supposedly his twin brother. (I’ll put a link in this post of Seth Galifinakis.) Marty Huggins is a funny character and I liked the running bit throughout the movie about him not being able to open doors.
I really enjoyed the smaller roles played by Jason Sudeikis, who we recently saw in a lead role in Horrible Bosses. He played the role very well and got quite a few laughs from the audience I was with. Also Dylan McDermott, who played the campaign manager hired by Lithgow and Aykroyd’s characters played his role very serious yet oddly funny at the same time “I’m here to make you not suck.”
I think the film does a good job of getting it’s political point across without beating the audience over the head. The ending will probably be disappointing to some (me included) but I wasn’t really that concerned with who won the race.
I’m glad director Jay Roach kept the film to a brisk 85 minutes because it felt very well paced and I thought it was directed fairly well. However, this was yet another forgettable Jay Roach film. We have to go all the way back to 2000’s Meet the Parents before we find a good Jay Roach movie. At that time, he seemed like the hottest comedy director in Hollywood after coming off of the two Austin Powers movies.
In the end, I left with the feeling of, “Yeah, that’s what I expected it to be.” Neither of the two characters are that memorable, Cam Brady is no Ron Burgundy and Marty Huggins is no Alan from The Hangover. I laughed at the trailer and was looking forward to this movie, however I only got 2-3 solid laughs by the end credits.