The Campaign Reviews
It is also easy to say that Zach isn't really stretching in this film either - so you end up with two antagonists who are exactly who you'd expect them to be, a plus I guess, if you were looking for exactly that. But for me, I expected more - perhaps a wicked commentary of our seriously broken political system... but there is nothing here that isn't over the top obvious - even the billionaire brothers trying to buy the campaign... hmmm, perhaps a send up of the Koch brothers - but to call them the Moch brothers... well, hopefully you see my point. Further, the talents of Dan Ackroyd and John Lithgow are wasted as the two brothers. They are given very little to do or say, even though their greed first and only philosophy should have been ripe for lampooning.
Brian Cox is similarly wasted as Zach's father, an old time political war horse in the pocket of the Moch bros. Seriously, the only characters who are truly humorous are that of Cox's maid (a Chinese woman paid extra to talk like a plantation mammy), and Dylan McDermott as a slick (and slightly sinister) campaign "fixer".
The film has decent pacing and a few chuckles, but, for me at least, will be forgotten tomorrow.
"May The Best Loser Win"
I guess I expected too much from The Campaign. What I got was a dry and rather disappointing political satire that substitutes intelligent jokes for stupid slapstick and sexually explicit material. I love movies that can input the two, but also include some jokes that are slightly more subtle. The Campaign goes over the top with every single political jab. There's nothing here that is funny because of political facts.†
Will Farrell used his best Bush voice and gave a ridiculous performance as Cam Brady, the incumbent. I like Will Farrell, but I can't really respect his work here, despite the fact that he was just doing the same old thing again. Zack Galifinakis plays Marty Huggins, the newcomer to the game of politics. His character is a slow, but good guy. I also like Galifinakis, but his character has been done to many times before and it's all so boring, pointless, and dry.
The Campaign is about a campaign obviously. Brady is seeking his 5th term as Congressman for the 14th district of North Carolina. He plans on running unopposed, but when he does something stupid(which is the only thing he seems to do), a pair of corporate heads get a newbie to run against him. From there it is a lot of over the top and obvious political war jokes. Some may work, but for the most part, the jokes are tired.
I didn't expect to dislike The Campaign to the extent I do, but after watching it, I was left grappling at the idea of how movies like this keep getting made. We continue to go to the movies and watch these ridiculous comedies that are just reused jokes. I actually thought that The Campaign would be a step up in intelligence for the standard Will Farrell movie. I came to find out, it was actually a step down.
The film‚(TM)s premise isn‚(TM)t terrible; pit a seasoned political operator (Farrell) against an idealist novice (Galifianakis) with lots of shots taken at the deleterious effect corporate interests have had on the American political process. Writer/producer Adam McKay used the buddy comedy format to rip into the financial collapse to great success in his The Other Guys so he‚(TM)s proven using a familiar format to make a light polemic can work but here McKay and his collaborators fail spectacularly. This is largely because the film can‚(TM)t pick a tone and stick with it for any length of time. It wants to laugh at Farrell‚(TM)s loudmouthed horn dog and Galifianakis effete weirdo but it also want you to care about the consequences of a corrupted electoral process and cost of a win at any costs culture.
The film tries to score points by pointing out that billionaire businessmen like the Koch brothers (here lazily parodied as the Motch brothers and played by a wasted Dan Aykroyd and John Lithgow) pervert the democratic process by throwing their money behind candidates that will support their economy corroding business practices. Instead of drawing blood by identifying the Motch‚(TM)s as GOP stalwarts or pointing out that high profile Democrats like Farrell‚(TM)s John Edwards inspired character find their progressive positions completely undone by their loathsome sexual proclivities, the film begs off at every possible opportunity. Every time the film gets close to actual cutting satire, it retreats to a weak and halfhearted ‚everybody‚(TM)s guilty‚? stance.
And if the film was just a straight ahead mindless frat pack comedy this wouldn‚(TM)t be a problem. It‚(TM)s fun to watch a snake venom addled Farrell bite into the belly of a live raccoon or Galifianakis quiet shudder at the prospect of pushing his and his wife‚(TM)s twin beds together bit moments like that are undercut by scenes where Farrell‚(TM)s young son tells him he plans on winning a high school election using the dirty tricks here learned from his father. Which is turn undercut buy a scene where Farrell steals a policemen‚(TM)s car after being pulled over for drunk driving. There is a line where in it becomes impossible to care about a made election no matter how many reproachful looks or sad music cues are used and that line is crossed when one candidate makes a sex tape/political ad with the other‚(TM)s wife.
This tonal inconsistency can be squarely laid at the feet of Jay Roach. The man his consistently failed to balance comedy and drama in the Meet the Parents franchise and only found success when committing to either bawdy humor as with the Austin Powers series or political drama as with his Recount and Game Change. When combining his two strengths, Roach instead highlights his weaknesses, critical making both of his protagonists unlikably mean and self-centered in the final third of the film and keeping Farrell‚(TM)s hilarious rage and Galifianakis indefatigable creepiness in check in an attempt to ground the film‚(TM)s ludicrous plotline. That‚(TM)s like putting Fred Astaire in a wheelchair.
Underneath all of The Campaign‚(TM)s puerile humor and first Comedy Sportz practice level satire, there is an kernel of a smart political send up or an off the wall comedy that would do for regional elections what Talladega Nights did for NASCAR but not enough material to sustain both which shows a shocking lack of insight for a group of talented comedians in an election year. This movie could have been this decade‚(TM)s Wag the Dog or at least its Bulworth but instead, with jokes that wouldn‚(TM)t have made the cut on a MADTV dress rehearsal and politics so obvious and empty that even Green Day couldn‚(TM)t make an album out of them, it‚(TM)s become a movie that makes That‚(TM)s My Boy look good.
Good funny movie! The scenes that are funny, are hilarious and make will make anyone with a sense of humor laugh. The film's pacing is very good and the chemistry between Farrell And Galifianakis is just perfect. In the end, if you go in the theater with an open mind and a sense of humor, you will enjoy it. Just don't expect another Step Brothers or Hangover.
In order to gain influence over their North Carolina district, two CEOs seize an opportunity to oust long-term congressman Cam Brady by putting up a rival candidate. Their man: naive Marty Huggins, director of the local Tourism Center.
Wasn't sure about this one to be honest, Farrell films tend to have a huge swing meter ranging from great to total crap, this surprised me. First off this film is no kiddie fun flick, its an adult comedy all the way and better for it. I was actually really amazed at the level of vulgar swearing and sexual gags, completely hit me off guard as I was expecting something more tame.
Farrell's character is a winner here, his arrogant, loud mouthed, foul mouthed, clueless congressman who keeps sticking his foot in it and not really caring is genius. Easily one of his best performances for ages as he curses his way through the film whilst generally being corrupt, nasty and utterly unhinged, classic Farrell with no PG restrictions. Love that he is shown as the good all American Christian family man yet really he's completely the opposite, corny but funny.
Never heard of Zach Galifianakis much before this. Again its another winning character who is the perfect foil to Farrell's in your face congressman. Galifi....Zach plays your typical American Christian, both congressmen are supposed good Christians but Zach's character is basically the real deal, the good guy, gentle, timid and ultimately based on 'Ned Flanders' methinks.
Behind the plot are the even more corrupt 'Motch brothers' played by comedy legend Dan Aykroyd and John Lithgow. These guys play characters that are similar in vein to the 'Duke brothers' played Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy in 'Trading Places' if you ask me. They are behind the scenes, behind the dastardly plot and not seen as much but add class and believability to the film.
Loved the PR stunts set up to gain valuable voters and how they are sabotaged by each congressman. Some are exactly as you would see in reality whilst some are truly hilarious, 'Brady' trying to sleep with 'Huggins' wife then broadcast it for example.
A cracking satire and spoof of good honest red, white and blue American politics. As a Brit the mockery of the typical religion obsessed wholesome Christian American family is very amusing. Its basically funny because its all based on reality, real folk and how US politics can be so childish and petty. Is there nothing more cringeworthy than watching real US politicians go on their greasy cross country voter campaigns.
Its all predictable right to the end but the lunacy and crude, sexist, un-PC toilet humour is outrageous, at times shocking, but down right fantastic I can't deny. Its good to see a proper no holds barred adult comedy, the cast benefit as do we the adult viewers. Its not original and its extremely rude but god dam its funny.
'Because Filipino Tilt-a-Whirl operators are this nation's backbone'