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The Campaign

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Scott Roberts
The Campaign
on Aug 13, 2012 at 4:42:59 pm








Premise: Will Ferrell has been running unopposed for four straight terms as a Carolina congressman. He's the typical brash power-trip politician. He spits buzz phrases like "Support our troops!" at the end of every speech (just cuz), he takes bribes from overseas businesses, and he cheats on his wife (and she doesn't care, because she's in it for the power trip as well). But when his evil financial backers want a change, they push small town wierdo Zach Galifianakis into the mix. And it becomes a semi-brilliant, semi-idiotic battle of comedy styles in what may be one of the best forgettable comedies I've ever seen.


Pros:

-The two leads are funny, and they are asked no more than to just be themselves. They aren't quite doing anything we haven't already seen from either of them, but when they are together, the chemistry makes the whole project worth it. Ferrell's matter-of-fact profanity clashing with Galifianakis' squirmy oddball behavior is entertaining as hell. This comedic chemistry can also be seen in numerous amazing interviews promoting the film during their press tour.

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-july-26-2012/zach-galifianakis---will...


-Features both the best and the worst CGI baby face I've ever seen get punched.

-It really is a funny play on the Republican party. Particularly during the debate scenes, where the redneck audience would stand up and yell moronic phrases, then applaud raucously at the candidates' empty catchphrases. I'm not really political, but I do slightly follow politics, and I found this spot on in terms of showing the public's complete lack of intelligence when it comes to blindly attaching themselves to an obviously terrible candidate. It's the kind of movie that the Left will find hilarious, and the Right will probably not understand the joke. But let's not turn this into a political debate, and rather discuss the important things; like Zach Galifianakis' use of the phrase "butt toots".

-The mockery of the viciousness of political advertisements has possibly never been done better. They sink to some amazing new lows, with perfect delivery. I would watch 90 minutes of dueling political ads by these two guys, and I'd probably call it the funniest movie of the year.

-I don't care what anyone says, Will Ferrell is the undisputed master of the comedic delivery of the "F" word.

-Took something as easy as making fun of pugs, and turned it into something as hilarious as crapping on everything pugs stand for.

-I feel like it's worth noting that the director of this film also directed the excellent (dramatic) Republican bashing HBO film Game Change. In the same year!

-The villains are played by Dan Aykroyd and John Lithgow. THE VILLAINS ARE PLAYED BY DAN AYKROYD AND JOHN LITHGOW.


Cons:

-Some jokes, particularly at the end, completely fall flat. Like past the point of just not being funny, and into the realm of feeling bad for the jokes because they are beyond obvious and unfunny. I'm mainly talking about the end when everyone was 'telling the truth'. What was that...?

-The snake church joke would have been alright if it were 10 seconds long. But then it went on for like 2 minutes. That was confusing. It seemed like it was supposed to be part of a montage of rapid fire church jokes, but then it just stalled there. And it wasn't funny.

-Definitely a stronger front half than back half. Probably would have been funnier if the whole thing had an even darker tone.

-Did anyone else think Jason Sudeikis brought absolutely nothing comical to the table?

-What was the deal with Zach's character's brother? They introduced him in an annoyingly comical way, then he pretty much didn't have any more lines in the film after that.

-Even though I enjoyed seeing Aykroyd and Lithghow as the villains (as noted above), they are ultimately not used to their full comedic potential at all in The Campaign.


Final Thoughts: I don't know if it's necessary to ever see this movie again, but I'm happy I at least saw it once. It's juvenile comedy, but it's intelligently satirical at its core. It kind of delves into Idiocracy territory in its way of completely mocking an entire demographic of people simply by over-exaggerating the truth. But come New Years eve, when I'm thinking about all the movies I saw this year, there will be a strong chance I forget I even saw The Campaign. It's just kind of that kind of comedy.

6.5 out of 10


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Mark Suszko
Re: The Campaign
on Aug 13, 2012 at 8:43:05 pm

I will say that the trailer is absolutely terrific and makes we want to rent this as soon as it comes out.


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Mike Cohen
Re: The Campaign
on Aug 14, 2012 at 5:02:54 am

[Scott Roberts] "-Did anyone else think Jason Sudeikis brought absolutely nothing comical to the table?"

You have described Jason Sudekis in general, and most of the current SNL cast actually.

I'll redbox it in a few weeks and report back.

Mike Cohen


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