The Campaign

Year: 2012
Directed By: Jay Roach
Written By: Chris Henchy & Shawn Harwell (screenplay and story), Adam McKay (story)

RYAN’S REVIEW

This was not a movie I was interested in when it first started being advertised earlier this year.  It looked like just another stupid Will Ferrell movie to me and I didn’t have much faith in what he and Zach Galifianakis would do together.  I think both of these men are funny, but both of them tend to play roles of men more stupid than anything else and I always feel they were overacting a bit.  Well this movie was available On Demand during the heart of the political process with elections nearing, and I reluctantly agreed to watch it with Amber one night. I was very surprised when I found myself laughing through the whole thing.  This movie is exaggerated, as most Will Ferrell movies are, but this one has plenty of truth masked within all of the silliness. It says something bold and believable about our political process in this country and mocks the joke that it has all become.

Will Ferrell definitely has his moments and he also has the ability to be a serious actor from time to time and I like that about him.  I have always felt he was at his best as a supporting man like his role in Old School but it was that role that gave him all the power.  As Frank the Tank he was so funny that he became one of America’s favorite comedians.  His career exploded after that but I am usually hot and cold with what he produces.  For example, Step Brothers may be a funny movie but the part he plays is just so overdone with stupidity and immaturity.  I tend to find myself more annoyed than humored in movies like that.  That persona works in many movies though so I can’t argue with it.  I thought Land of the Lost was hilarious and I really liked his more serious roles in movies like Everything Must Go and Stranger than FictionHowever I have never been a fan of Ricky Bobby or plenty of his other work.  I thought things were falling apart for him when he was cast in The Office as the show was beginning to fall apart but I was wrong.  In this movie as the perfectly named politician “Cam Brady” I thought he was hilarious.  His stupid persona seems fitting for a politician ironically enough and he nailed it.  My favorite part is when he sees the new Marty Huggins ad that has his son in it.  I am never a fan of infidelity in a movie but for some reason when it happened in this one I couldn’t stop laughing about it.  When Ferrell says “you make my son call you daddy I fuck your wife, that’s the deal!” I fell to the floor.  When he showed up and Marty’s wife was watching Drew Carey on The Price is Right it was a done deal. Ferrell may be a bit too goofy for me at times but the guy is undeniably funny and I really enjoyed his role in this one.

I have written my thoughts on Galifianakis before in our reviews on The Hangover movies.  I think what I said specifically was that he would only get as far as that beard would take him.  So it was nice to see him diversify and go simply with the perv stache in this one.  I like Galifianakis quite a bit because after all he is from my home state and grew up only an hour from where I live now.  I don’t think his career will last long enough though if he can only play the one part though.  I have seen him before on Bored to Death and he is really good in that but if he can’t branch out with different roles in movies his career will only be a flash in the pan.  As Marty Huggins, Galifianakis played his typical role of the very weird guy but it worked in this one because it was so funny to see them try to transform him into a political candidate.  His accent is great in this one but it should come easy to him being he is from North Carolina.

I really liked seeing Dan Akroyd and John Lithgow as the big business brothers in this movie.  They fit the roles nicely and I like seeing Akroyd in anything these days because he isn’t doing too much anymore.  I have always been a big fan of Lithgow and think that he can only make any movie he is in better.  I am becoming a huge fan of Jason Sudeikis, everything I see him in seems funnier than the last. SNL has a great cast right now with really funny people like Bill Hader, Taran Killam, and Jay Pharoah but Sudeikis is funnier than all of them as far as I am concerned.  I really look forward to what is to come from his career as he continues to gain more popularity.  I also thought Dylan McDermott was really good as the ultra cool campaign manager that shows up to “make you not suck.” I don’t usually like McDermott but really enjoyed his performance in this one.

This movie says a lot about politics in this country.  About the big businesses behind the candidates running for office and how they use those candidates to achieve their own goals.  About how campaigns manipulate the public to get into office and will absolutely do whatever it takes.  It’s about how dirty politics can be in general and the cut throat world these people live in.   While the movie may cover all these things in humorous fashion there is one thing to keep in mind while watching this movie….a lot of truth is said in jest.  I think this movie not only does a great job mocking the whole thing but it isn’t really off base with the truth behind it all.

I always love a movie that catches me by surprise and this one did.  I did not expect to like it at all and ended up loving it.  I think that any time a movie can do that then it is worth your time to see it.  This movie may have seemed funnier to me when we watched it during the election season but I enjoyed it just as much watching it again after getting a copy for Christmas.  This movie is a bit vulgar so take the R rating seriously but if you get an opportunity to see it you should check it out, it is worth your time.

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