Movie Name: The Campaign
Studio: Gary Sanchez Productions
Release Date(s): August 10, 2012
MPAA Rating: R
Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) is running for his fifth term in the House, but scandals have made him vulnerable. When the powerful Motch Brothers (John Lithgow and Dan Aykroyd) decide to run Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis) for Congress, they must first make him into a viable candidate by having Tim Wattley (Dylan McDermott) shape his image. As Tim makes a monster of Marty, the battle is on and may the “best man” (?) win!
Directed by Jay Roach, The Campaign was a political comedy. The movie had a slight profit and received mixed reviews from critics.
I didn’t have much hope for The Campaign. I figured that most of The Campaign’s funny parts were in the promo and I was partially right. The movie had some laughs, but it also had problems.
The plot for the movie seems a bit of an amalgam of something like Rushmore (aka two people vying for the same thing while pulling no punches) and a political drama like All the King’s Men. It doesn’t have the heart of something like Rushmore, but it does go all out.
Zach Galifianakis just never has quite hit right since The Hangover. He’s good, but it sometimes just feels like he’s doing a version of Jack Black (here he kind of reminded me of Black in Bernie). Ferrell is his normal character with bombastic responses to things happening. If you like Ferrell, it is more of the same, but if you don’t like Ferrell, The Campaign won’t win you over as a fan.
Oddly, the movie feels a bit more relevant in 2016 than it did in 2012. With the craziness of the 2016 elections and the unlikely nature of the campaign, The Campaign feels a bit more legitimized. With Bernie, Trump, Sanders, Hillary, and Cruz also willing to lay each other out, The Campaign’s “goofy” jokes could really happen.
The Campaign isn’t a great movie, but it isn’t the worst time you’ve spent watching a brainless comedy. Political dramas and comedies sometimes are the smartest films because they poke fun or show the best in humanity at what should be the most coveted job by the brightest of people. The Campaign sadly feels more like real politics than something like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington…it is just the day and age we live in