The Campaign (2012) Poster

(2012)

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8/10
Ribald, funny, merciless fun at the expense of politicians and politics
steven-leibson4 September 2012
Warning: Spoilers
A very, very funny movie that's very, very coarse. If you are not amused by jokes about sex, body parts and bodily functions, effeminate men, scantily-clad women, politics, and politicians then this isn't your movie. If you like that sort of thing, then you need to see this movie now. Light, fluffy entertainment. No thinking required (or desired). Good guys win. Bad guys either lose or are redeemed. I run hot and cold on Will Farrel movies. This one's a keeper for him but the real star of this movie is Zach Galifianakis who seems to replicate Jack Black's character in "Bernie" but with a completely different take. This movie will make you feel better about what's coming to American politics in the next three months.
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7/10
Good satire of politics.
mm-3923 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The Campaign is a good satire of politics. The Campaign shows why the public has lost faith in the USA political process. The satire of the movie shows how candidates do not answer questions, but skirt issues and use generic themes like freedom etc. The Campaign shows there is no discussion of the issues and the two candidates deteriorate the campaign into the Springer show. One has sex with the other's wife as a campaign ad. The Campaign shows that the special interests run both parties, which is the reason why there is no real debate, and interest in what is good for the community. The film is funny but has some low ball comedy on Religion, sex, and people. I give The Campaign a seven out of ten.
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8/10
A simple comedy that does its job.
Gordon Hendry19 August 2012
After reading many reviews, i have to agree that this is a technically a bad film. The humor in this movie is very raw and crude (which doesn't bother me), and it has a very simple storyline. I was ready to give this movie a rating of a 5 or below until i stopped looking into the movie too much, and saw it for what it is. The purpose of a comedy is to make people laugh, and that is exactly what myself and the rest of the theater did for the majority of the movie. The movie is so relevant as well with the upcoming presidential elections, and i feel this movie helps take the edge of the brutality of the current Obama vs. Romney.

If you just want to see a simple movie that will make you laugh without having to think about the plot, then see the movie.
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6/10
Its ironically authentic lampooning of real politics is the funniest part of all.
GoneWithTheTwins9 August 2012
The Campaign offers many hilarious moments in the vein of humor that one has come to expect from its creators. Will Ferrell is entertaining as always with his "presidential" accent and foul-mouthed quips. Zach Galifianakis also presents quite a character, often outshining his co-star with his supremely bizarre eccentricities. But underneath the layer of laughs is a rather forgettable story. It's undoubtedly a great basis for the two comedy giants to clash, but the plot neither furthers our interest in its leads nor their plight. Much of the time it feels as if we lose no matter who wins. Perhaps its ironically authentic lampooning of real politics is the funniest part of all.

North Carolina congressman Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) has fallen into a leisurely routine of false promises and general negligence in his duties as the longtime unopposed representative. But after an obscene phone call to the wrong person finds Brady's approval rating drastically down, corporate bigwigs Glenn (John Lithgow) and Wade Motch (Dan Aykroyd), decide to replace him with someone they can easily control for their own devious schemes. Their candidate is mild-mannered Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis), a tourism enthusiast with naïve ideas of bettering his hometown. When Huggins announces his candidacy, and the stunned Brady quickly introduces him to the sinister world of politics, the battlefield is set for copious smear campaigns, name tarnishing and disgraceful machinations to destroy each other's reputations. But as the debates get dirtier and the backstabbing more barbaric, both candidates begin to question how far they'll go to win – and what they're willing to lose.

The Campaign has an amusing premise. It examines the corruption, general crookedness, and underhanded big business influences behind politics, employing a wildly satirical viewpoint coupled with abrasive language and hysterical visual gags. "When you've got the money, nothing's unpredictable," insists Glenn Motch, defining his wealthy persuasions over chancy voters. An underdog candidate is uprooted from unremarkableness to be subjected to an immoderate transformation, itself an entertaining feat, for the sake of molding a puppet for exploitive moneymen. And he is to combat a long unopposed, professional politician, who has grown too accustomed to the post without having to put effort toward purpose or even basic responsibility. The two face off in riotous slander, invidious advertising strategies, backbiting, and baby punching. And their warfare gets steadily more caustic as election day looms. But that's it – the setup is the story, and there's nothing more meaningful beyond that.

The tired theme of "do the right thing" rears its head, but it never serves to stress originality or the means for further mockeries of recognizable, past political blunders. The My Fair Lady shtick is catchy, Galifianakis and Ferrell are equally witty in their roles (their ridiculousness is amplified by an anticipated collaboration), while goofy voices (think one part Jiminy Glick and one part Stuart Smalley for Zach, with Will blending his Saturday Night Live presidential impressions), dirty jokes, and slapstick weigh in proportionally for humor. The Campaign also points the finger at the idiotic everyman who misinterprets intent and blindly falls for thinly stretched defamation attempts. But what does it all lead to? A few grand laughs and lovable imbeciles don't amount to a story – it's essentially a promising foundation for comedy that forgets to tell a full-bodied, meaningful tale of political conversion and redemption.

  • The Massie Twins
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7/10
An entertaining, but not totally satisfactory, political satire
Argemaluco1 November 2012
The election period in the United States has traditionally been a fountain of humorous material exploited to the maximum by the comedians, most of them on TV, but also in cinema, as we can see this year in the film The Campaign, directed by Jay Roach, whose filmography includes some excellent comedies (the Austin Powers trilogy)...and other deeply irritating ones (Meet the Fockers, Dinner for Schmucks). I would also like to point out that The Campaign isn't Roach's first incursion into the political field, because he also made the TV movies Recount and Game Change, which both made a brilliant work in portraying the pressures and vices from a presidential campaign from a serious and (more or less) impartial point of view. Could The Campaign achieve the same but in a humorous context? I don't think so, but I can't deny I found the film entertaining nevertheless.

I think there's an excellent political satire hidden in some place of The Campaign. The general premise of an inept lout who is transformed into a charismatic candidate manipulated by the economical elite is very interesting; and even though it's not completely original, I think it's appropriate to occasionally remember it in order to recognize it whenever we find it in the real world (something which undoubtedly happens with a sad frequency). However, the few intelligence from the screenplay is diluted by the coarse and vulgar humor employed as vehicle of the message. I have to admit I laughed in various occasions (specially during the "Our Father" scene), and I definitely found some ingenuity in the creation of absurd but credible situations (at least in the filthy context of contemporary politics)...however, for every scene that works, there's five or six which only provoke whining, specially due to the tendency the actors show to "play the fool". I think this is a very subjective point in any comedy; but in my personal taste, the humor always works better when the actors take their roles seriously and let the comedy to naturally flow from their attitudes and reactions. When they try to force the laughs with a physical or verbal affectation, they lose spontaneity and, specially, destruct the reality of the characters in order to transform them into caricatures.

And besides of that, I found the screenplay of The Campaign too innocent and predictable, taking a safe route until leading to a happy ending. So, I guess that not all the political satires can be as subtle and effective as Wag the Dog or In the Loop; however, I can give a moderate recommendation to The Campaign as an entertaining comedy, despite not being very memorable.
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6/10
The Campaign: A decent review to a decent movie.
Modest953 September 2012
Let me start off by saying that I love Will Ferrell and Zack Galifianakis. I love most of the films they starred in. So upon hearing that these two comedic heavyweights will be starring in the same movie together, you could imagine my excitement. Did it meet my expectations? Sort of. This comedy staring these two actors was enjoyable and had plenty of laughs but after viewing, I realized how it could have been much better.

Basically, Democratic playboy Cam Brady has to verse off against republican every-man Marty Huggins after Marty enters the race against the long-term congressmen Cam at the last minute. This of course leads to hilarious incidents that occur in both parties.

The basic plot line is really effective since the film is not biased and allows for making fun of both parties, which I very much appreciate. Unfortunately, the real issues lie in the acting and writing. Ferrell And Galifianakis really don't get the chance to spread there "wings" in this film. Both have the potential to be hilarious but they never get the chance. Jason Sudeiki's seems very unused as Cam Brady's Assistant Mitch. Again, he does not get the chance to shine in this film. I love John Lithgow and Dan Aykroyd but there roles in this film are very unnecessary. They are not really funny or entertaining to watch. This is unfortunate. Jay Roach really tried to make a good film, but I think he picked the wrong actors for this film. He shines in romantic comedies like Meet the Parents but he is trying to hard to make a Will Farrell film. It would have been much better with Adam McKay.

It's not all bad though. The scenes that are funny, are hilarious and make will make anyone with a sense of humor laugh. The film's pacing is very good and the chemistry between Farrell And Galifianakis is just perfect. In the end, if you go in the theater with an open mind and a sense of humor, you will enjoy it. Just don't expect another Step Brothers or Hangover.
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6/10
The Campaign...2.5 out of 4 Skittles
FilmStallion6 September 2012
t seems like it should be easy to make a funny movie about the state of our political climate….rich, greedy, corrupt people spending millions of dollars to make television ads that spread blatant lies to the uninformed voting public, but The Campaign ends up feeling a bit underwhelming of what could have been.

Screenwriters Chris Henchy & Shawn Harwell only scratched the surface of the real life hilarity of the current political landscape. All they had to do was turn on any TV news channel and take note of the circus that current politics have become…from former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to Weiner-Gate to…well…Sarah Palin, but for Chris Henchy, the writer of past stinkers Land of the Lost and The Other Guys, I guess that is what should be expected.

Will Ferrell (Step Brothers, Anchorman) and Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover, Due Date) make a fine comedic duo, but their one-note characters leave these candidates without much to say. Ferrell ends up doing a less funny version of his George W. Bush impersonation. His iconic character was a slam-dunk on short SNL skits, but runs thin in a feature film.

The Campaign definitely provides its share of laughs that keep this film above average, but doesn't live up to other classic films produced by Ferrell and Adam McKay's Gary Sanchez production company…I.E. Step Brothers, Anchorman, Talladega Nights. The Campaign may end up being one of the most profitable comedies of the 2012 blockbuster season, but compared against the other duds Hollywood barfed out this summer (The Watch, That's My Boy, The Dictator) that isn't saying too much.

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An enjoyable comedy
Gordon-113 September 2013
This film is about a race between two congressman candidates in North Carolina.

"The Campaign" is a fun and light hearted mockery of modern American politics, but it is also surprisingly real in terms of what could possibly happen in a real election campaign. The plot is funny and really gets me laughing, but I am the most impressed by the emotional ending that conveys a victory to morality. Another thing that really stands out is the Asian maid who speaks with an amazing African and also Spanish accent.

I enjoyed watching this film!
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7/10
The Campaign (2012) - He Just Punched a Baby!
nickmesafilms24 August 2012
Two comedic favorites Will Ferrell and Zach Galifanakis finally share the screen together in "The Campaign". Although being casted in their usual and cliché roles; Ferrell as a competitive mindless idiot that's considered the best at everything, and Galifanakis as a weird, but likable sweater vest-wearing dork; these two still share a decent chemistry in a movie that's although not a perfect comedy as you'd expect it to be, it's still a pretty decent comedy, that consistently hits the funny bone, sometimes in the right places. Ferrell plays Cam Brady, a presidential candidate that has never lost a single campaign in his life, and is now running for the fifth term. But then, out of the blue, to actually give Brady some competition, Galifanakis' Marty Huggins is volunteered to run for Congress. It then leads into one of the deadliest campaigns ever seen on the face of the earth. Although "The Campaign" doesn't reach the level of complete comedic gold, director Jay Roach was able to bring in some consistent funny moments that are more worthy of a giggle, rather than "bursting to tears" kind of laughs. I was really expecting more from Will Ferrell, who seems to be tiring in his cliché role, and I felt that it was really hard to feel sympathy for this character, because he's the only un-likable person throughout. I guess I had more sympathy for Galifanakis' character, because not only was he funny, but he was also the only person that I actually cared about. But aside from the two male leads, Jason Sudeikis, Dylan McDermott, John Lithgow, Dan Aykroyd, and Brian Cox round up the supporting cast, most of them delivering some decent enough performances. I say most of them, because Dylan McDermott's contribution as Marty's campaign manager seemed wasted in the role, and didn't really steal the scenes as everyone said he would. I honestly think that this guy wasn't really that funny. Although half of the jokes sadly fall flat, the other half is filled with one hilarious scene after the next. From the scene with Marty Huggin's family at the dinner table, to Cam accidentally punching a baby at a campaign party. This proves that there are scenes that help save this movie from being a bad one. Although at it's noticeable flaws, "The Campaign" is still a decent and pretty funny movie that has a clear perspective on what it was trying to be. "The Campaign", in my review, "laughable and enjoying, but hardly anything special".
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2/10
a ridiculous and unfunny comedy trying to disguise itself as a satire
tbmforclasstsar11 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
There is a line, and not even a fine one, between satire and goofy comedies. Even in satirical films that have raunchy, campy, and over-exaggerated humor, the comedy is used to enhance the satire and make a stronger statement about the subject of the film. And at times it seems that The Campaign is trying its hardest to be a proper satire. But in the end, it is a conflicted and confused film with split personality disorder between political humor and a Will Ferrell comedy.

Co-Starring Ferrell (the comedian of yester-year) and Zach Galifianakis (who seemed to be the comedian of the now), The Campaign tells the ridiculous story of the congressional race in the 14th district of North Carolina between two very different politicians. Ferrell plays Cam Brady, a Congressman that has run unopposed for several years and plans on winning another easy election. But he is stunned when Marty Huggins (Galifianakis) comes out of nowhere to announce his candidacy for Congress. Huggins, the son of a rich political father, is brought on to defeat Brady by two political leaders known as the Motch Brothers (Dan Aykroyd and John Lithgow) who believe Huggins is the goat they can use to bring cheap Chinese labor to the US.

Quickly, the campaigns turn from an honest race between two men to an all out war between two politicians that will do anything they can to win. And in a film that begins with a Ross Perot quote that says "War has rules, mud wrestling has rules…politics has no rules," you can imagine the amount of ridiculous comedy two politicians played by Ferrell and Galifianakis get into.

And while I am sure there is a crowd that will find this film humorous, I rarely did. In an hour and forty minute comedy starring two big names like Ferrell and Galifianakis, I laughed maybe three times, two of which due to how bad the film was. Like I said at the beginning, there is a difference between satire and goofy…this is off the wall ridiculous.

Cam Brady may be Ferrell's worst character ever. He is everything we have seen from Ferrell before regurgitated and stuffed into a $3,000 suit. He3 is dumb, crass, and completely unoriginal and uninspired. Sure, there is humor and making a statement about how dumb our politicians are and the extremes campaigns can go to, but having Cam Brady punch a baby in the face, then a dog in the face, and then use a sex tape as a political ad is not clever or funny…it is flat out stupid. For anyone to watch it and have any moment of "Yeah, politicians really are dumb," is ridiculous, but seemingly something the writers and filmmakers were aiming at. There seems to be a necessity to make political statements about how dumb politicians are, how corrupt our government is, and the lengths everyone in politics will go to win a race, but it is within a stupid comedy that doesn't ever take itself seriously in its satire.

To read the rest of the review (IMDb form too short) visit: http://custodianfilmcritic.com/the-campaign/
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