Rated R for crude sexual content, language and brief nudity.
Running Time: 1 hour 37 minutes
When long-term Congressman Cam Brady commits a major public gaffe before an upcoming election, a pair of ultra-wealthy CEO’s plot to put up a rival candidate and gain influence over their North Carolina District. The man they put up – Marty Huggins, the naive director of the local Tourism Center.
The Follies of Politics
At first Marty appears to be the unlikeliest possible choice to run against the multi-term incumbent Congressman Brady. But, with the help of his backers, a cut-throat campaign manager and his family’s political connections, Marty soon becomes a contender who gives the charismatic Cam lots to worry about. As Election Day closes in the two are locked in a dead heat with insults escalating to injury until all they care about is burying each other.
I went into this movie figuring I would absolutely hate it. After all one of the leading men in The Campaign is also one of my least favorite actors – Will Ferrell – who stars as Congressman Cam Brady. His counterpart – an actor I can take or leave as he seems stellar in one movie and a flop in the other – is Zach Galifianakis who plays the role of Marty Huggins.
But – when all is said and done – I must admit I was pleasantly surprised.
Maybe the quality of the movie has to do with the fact that Ferrell is just an actor in the flick. He was not involved in the writing, directing or production of this movie. As a result, Ferrell is forced to stay inside the lines and it appears for the most part stays inside the lines as well. When Ferrell is more involved in the direction and content of the movie – they usually fall into the category of “better left on the editing room floor”.
Now, after saying I was “pleasantly surprised” with the quality of this movie, I must also quickly say The Campaign is by no means a family-friendly movie. Keep in mind this is a Rated R flick. While Ferrell is somewhat restrained in this movie, it is still over the top at times and yes, the language is wild too. But keep in mind that is also exactly how the R Rating attached to this movie describes the flick too. So, you have been warned.
From an acting standpoint Ferrell is his usual rude self while Galifianakis just seems lack-luster. The shining moments in The Campaign are evident in the performances of Dan Aykroyd and John Lithgow who play the Motch brothers. Going into the movie I did not know they were in this flick. I was surprised by their appearance and enjoyed the fact that they had more than just a one scene appearance. Other than that, this movie is predictable in its style and acting performances.
It’s also no secret that The Campaign is a well-planned and strategically released movie about politics. After all, we find ourselves in the midst of a political season. I wondered if this would be a totally one-sided swat at a political party. Would this movie have an obvious political agenda? While I’m sure some people will say it’s a swat against one party or the other – in the end – I believe The Campaign takes its shots not at just one political party, but at the entire political process we are now faced with. Some will disagree with me, but I came away from the movie laughing at the fact that I couldn’t see any direct agenda at attacking just one political party. Instead this is a humorous look – and for most people – an obvious look at what’s wrong the political process.
All in all – while The Campaign is not family-friendly – I did find it a nice quick escape and a fun look at all that’s wrong with politics today.
Enjoy the show!