Review: More political undertones, less comedy found in ‘The Campaign’

Anne Buie

Editor’s Note: The following reflects the opinions of the author.

Will Ferrell’s (Anchorman) and Zach Galifianakis’ (The Hangover) latest film, “The Campaign”, explains how elections and campaigns are funded, fueled and made possible with the help of billionaires – however, those two stars should have stuck to their typical comedic routines, and let someone else explain how elections and campaigns actually work.

Ferrell’s comedy style is typically hit or miss but he missed the boat for the most part in this movie. He did nail an incredible representation of the infamous John Edwards as Congressman Cam Brady, but he just went a little too overboard on the outrageous and ridiculous delivery of jokes.

Galifianakis, on the other hand, did a much better job. The Wilkesboro native channeled a character from his stand up days named Seth, who is supposed to be Zach’s asexual, timid and better behaved, mustached twin brother.
Galifianakis taps into this character as Marty Huggins very well and outshined Ferrell.

While it is not his best performance on record, it did redeem the comedic side of the film as well as give the audience a character they could love and root for through the film.

But the political message is spot on: money is controlling politics. It always has and always will, and with a name drop to the unfortunate Citizens United case, which states that corporations are people and have rights to free speech just like United States citizens, it set the tone to modern day political woes in Washington.

And let’s not forget about the negative ads, mudslinging and all the other mess people try to avoid in an election season.

“The Campaign” exaggerated some of the attacks and childish rebuttals that take place in most elections but accurately – with the exception of some town hall meeting brawls – depicted how divided the nation is and how one little thing, like what a candidate did years ago in their past or how they dance around questions in debates to get an applause from their true supporters, can change the atmosphere of the election completely.

The intent of “The Campaign” came across as a satirical, raunchy film starring two of comedy’s biggest names to show how messed up politics and campaigning is, showing that there is potential for decency in Washington and all while making us laugh.

Let’s say two-and-a-half out of three were achieved.

“The Campaign” is Rated R and is currently in theatres.


Story: MICHAEL BRAGG, Senior Arts and Entertainment Reporter