“America. Jesus. Freedom,” Will Ferrell declares as his opening line in the The Campaign. It is also the campaign motto for a five-time re-elected congressman from North Carolina that never has any competitors in the running, Cam Brady, the character Will Ferrell plays. I was a little skeptical about this movie before entering the theater, but after hearing those first words I remembered that Ferrell is my guilty pleasure in this modern film industry. Not too far into the movie, we are introduced to another character. The forthcoming powerhouse in slapstick comedy, Zach Galiafinakis, plays a local, home-loving Marty Huggins. Marty is manipulated to run against Cam Brady for the sake of two money-hungry entrepreneur millionaires who are looking to put Chinese sweatshops in North Carolina and need the right knucklehead in congress to achieve their goal. Sounds like politics doesn’t it?
Well, that is exactly what I enjoy about these slapstick, Will Ferrell, comedic interpretations. Taking reality, taking something so vital in everyday lives, and making a mockery of it for the sake of revealing the truth and putting it into means degenerate human beings can or should understand. Of course, it has the idiocy that comes with almost any movie Ferrell is involved with, but there is a great deal of underlying intelligence and is accompanied by a hilarious script. Throughout the movie we hear some pretty haywire lines that you cannot help but to laugh out loud at – something not unfamiliar to Ferrell comedies. With such memorable lines throughout the movie, accompanied by the making fun of scandals and accidents that are so common amongst politicians, we get a movie that is actually quite enjoyable. What I enjoy the most about the film, however, is that it took me back to a Will Ferrell that the viewer has not seen in a while. His performance in this one was on the level of Anchorman and Talladega Nights, two of (arguably) his best films. He was extremely funny, playing the ignorant hotshot that is basically dumb as a doorknob, but either doesn’t know it or does not care. Whatever you want to call it, it is in its own field of doltishly genius. Galiafinakis also played a very stereotypical role. His character, Marty, is empty minded, oblivious, and extremely funny, but also has a big heart. As far as supporting actors go, some pretty big names took part: Jason Sudeikis, John Lithgow, and Dan Aykroyd all took part in this portrayal of zany politics.
Overall, cinematically it is a mediocre film. The plot the story and the ending are a little generic, unsurprising, and hardly original. There was suitable performance from the cast; nothing was too overdone, just simple raw humor. The script was well written and un-classy, but fit well with a cast that is known for improvisation. The attack on politics was very enjoyable seeing as how even though we see many attacks on politics in cinema, it has never been as concentrated with this genre of humor (props to that). This is definitely not a family film, but fans of Ferrell’s previous crude comedies may at the very least get their money’s worth with The Campaign. I certainly did.
7.1 out of 10