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I am a HUGE Will Ferrell fan as well as Zack G, so I can't really blame myself for having high expectations. This movie was a complete disaster. I don't like politics to begin with, and was hoping to get a good laugh at them mocking politicians. They seemed like they would be a comedy dream team, but I ended up laughing maybe a total of two times in the entire (and seemingly never-ending) movie. I fell asleep at the end, which I almost never do. I just gave up hoping for it to end up being good. It literally seemed to drag on and on, and Will looked like he knew it wasn't good and was trying hard to make up for it by pulling out all his comedy bag of tricks. I don't know how this ended up into such a terrible mess of a movie but I tell everyone that loves Will Ferrell like I do to not watch it as it might ruin their opinion of him.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I confess I am not a huge Will Ferrel fan although I find him
watch-able in films which don't completely revolve around him. This was
not one of them. I thought I'd give it a go as I love political satire
but this was just a really poor display of watered down, repetitive
slapstick full of stereotypical characters and scenarios.
To its credit the plot accurately conveyed the joke that is American politics, particularly how it is big business and back handers that are really pulling the strings and making all the big decisions and the typical overplaying of 'family values' and every politicians close personal friend Jesus H Christ, in their campaigns. The sheep voters of course were all too happy to lap it all up and sway their opinion based on the lame speeches and false promises of the candidates.
It was all supposed to be tongue in cheek and satirical but in reality it was just depressing and patronising. I don't need my comedy to be intelligent by any means but the whole thing was just appalling. Honestly I laughed a total of 3 times. Once was at a baby being punched in the face.
It really is just Will Ferrel playing his usual 'I'm an egotistical, air head, a-hole' character, with a slightly different hairstyle. I preferred the guy who played his opponent (Zach Galifianakis), both character wise and performance wise.
One thing that really bugged me about this film was the way that the women were represented. Yes politics is a male dominated environment but apart from a few mute women extras there was only one female who really had more than a few lines and being Asian they were all pretty much jokes about racial stereotyping and she was a maid. The rest of the females were there as sex objects basically. The usual blonde bimbo 'Lewinsky' character, another who was walking around with her nipple accidentally showing, the hot little, supportive wife who actually turns out to be a power hungry, gold digging, cold hearted cow. At one point Will's character seduces the oppositions wife just to smear his character and campaign and of course she is warm hearted and naive so had to be chubby and therefore grateful for his sleaze. Oh and they had one black male speaking part and it was only a couple of lines and he was technically mixed race, in a film set in North Carolina? Yeah okay so a dumb comedy doesn't have a duty or responsibility to represent society accurately but it makes it very clear who this movie is aimed at.
This is jock humour, strictly for Ferrel devotees and I had hoped for more. He really is a one trick pony! Watch the trailer and then move on with your life. Because those are the only good scenes in the whole movie, condensed into a few seconds.
The film had a chance to be a thoughtful satire on the societal impact
of money on politics and issues such as the outsourcing of American
jobs, not to mention the growing separation between the political class
and the public.
It settled for a host of clichés.
Instead, it contented itself in pandering to elite prejudices. Christians and Southerners are ignorant, and they are hypocrites. Their children, are even more ignorant and more perverse.
MSNBC and CNN make cameo appearances lending their support to these notions.
The language is unnecessarily crude,lewd and indecent. I am no prude, but this film often seemed just a lot of tasteless potty talk masquerading as humor.
Too bad. There are one or two clever skits. Net Net: Don't waste your money. I was once a Democrat. Later a Republican, still conservative with a small "c." I am a registered independent.
The comedy in this movie, such as it is, is weak and a little flat,
which is something I didn't think I'd ever say about a film starring
Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis. I chuckled a couple of times, but
otherwise I felt no urge to laugh. There is a distinct bitter streak to
the humor, with little heart to redeem it until one specific moment of
unbelievable mood whiplash. The actors did fine, but they've had much
better material in other vehicles (Ferrell in Anchorman and
Galifianakis in The Hangover being just two notable examples).
It's a shame because I'd heard some good things about The Campaign, and with those two comedy stars it should have been something greater than the sum of its parts. Even something equal would have been good. This just didn't seem like the right movie to bring the two together.
The supporting cast was fine, though nobody really stood out from the pack. It was fun seeing Dan Aykroyd and John Lithgow as the corrupt millionaire brothers, even if their plot seems to have been taken wholesale from Trading Places. Jason Sudeikis wisely plays his role with subtlety, in contrast to Ferrell and Galifianakis.
I guess The Campaign isn't the worst way to spend 85 minutes. But by the same token, I'm glad I didn't put down the money to see it in the theatre.
And the less said about the punching of the baby, the better.
'THE CAMPAIGN': Three and a Half Stars (Out of Five)
Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis combine forces for this political satire attempting to throw some comedic commentary at audiences this election season. Ferrell plays a North Carolina congressman running for his 5th term unopposed when two corrupt businessmen try to unseat him by pitting him against a naive tourism director who always had dreams of a career in politics, played by Galifianakis. The film was directed by Jay Roach (director of all three 'AUSTIN POWERS' films and the first two of the 'MEET THE PARENTS' franchise) and written by Chris Henchy and Shawn Harwell (one of the writers of the TV series 'EASTBOUND & DOWN'). It was produced by Ferrell, Roach, Galifianakis and Adam McKay and co-stars Jason Sudeikis, Dan Aykroyd, John Lithgow, Brian Cox and Dylan McDermott. The film is funny for the most part and does have some on target political commentary. Not as classic as some of Ferrell's greatest comedies but one of his better ones for sure.
Ferrell plays Democratic Congressman Cam Brady, who as the film opens is getting ready to secure his fifth term in North Carolina's 14th District unopposed. A sex scandal hurts his popularity though and two greedy businessmen named Glen (Lithgow) and Wade Motch (Aykroyd) see an opportunity to unseat him and put a naive tourism director, named Marty Huggins (Zak Galifianakis), in his place to do their bidding for them (which involves illegal business with Chinese corporations). What starts out as a friendly campaign duel turns in to a heated battle very quickly with all the name calling and ugly accusations you'd expect from a big time political election. This causes havoc on both the men's private lives including heavy drama with their families.
The movie's jokes are somewhat hit-and-miss but for the most part work. They're vulgar but not overly dumbed down; neither Ferrell nor Galifianakis ever break character or overact (like what often happens in comedy satires like these). The film is of course supposed to be funny and lighthearted but the messages of the story are very serious and clear. The Motch brothers are obviously an intended diss at corrupt businessmen Charles and David Kotch (who Galiafanakis recently annoyed by calling creepy). Hopefully viewers who are fence sitters or leaning to the right might learn some valuable lessons from the film (one can hope). This is where the film's greatest strengths lie but it is pretty funny as well.
Watch our movie review show 'MOVIE TALK' at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2vhN3UBteY
Either a movie has merit and redeeming value or it sucks (as Will Farrel would say). There were a few humorous skits within the film but what was self-evident was the vulgar and repeated bad jokes and skits that had no logical flow with the subject of this movie. Sometimes an idea can be over done to an extreme.This is the trouble with this movie. I'm not a prude but there is such a thing as "Beating a Dead Horse". That is the serious problem with this story. I've enjoyed many things that Will has done but this one is a big strike out and deserves to be called what it is....trash. Fifteen minutes of funny and an hour of crap.
This film just continues to convince me that the "dumbing" of the
American film industry is alive...unfortunately! This piece of garbage
was not worth the gum I chewed that I picked off the bottom of my seat!
Will Ferrell is absolutely talentless. The screenwriters -- Shawn
Harwell and Chris Henchy -- showed a total lack of creativity. The
comedy (for the moment, please allow me to call it such) in this film
was predictable, raunchy, and aimed at the lowest common denominator.
Cursing, naming body parts, and achieving other such low-level attempts
at getting viewers to crack a smile just isn't funny. How many times
can you go for the same jokes... when they weren't funny the first
time? Lastly, it amazes me that -- unless they needed money to pay
their mortgages in this dreadful economy -- John Lithgow, Dylan
McDermott, Wolf Blitzer, Piers Morgan, Bill Maher, Chris Matthews,
Dennis Miller, Lawrence O'Donnell, Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski,
Willie Geist, and Ed Schultz -- would lend their names to this
"candidate" for the worst film of all-time!
I will say, however, that "THE" best part in this film was played by Karen Maruyama ("Mrs. Yao"). She was fantastically hysterical!
I'm not sure where to start. I'll go back to the beginning. One fine Thursday night I was settling down to watch Ted on the big screen, when on came a trailer for The Campaign. I chuckled a few times and was confident that further hilarity would ensue in the actual feature. All signs were promising. All signs were wrong, dead wrong. This crude political satire is neither witty nor biting, but most awful of all, it's downright unfunny. In what gets earmarked as 2012's biggest disappointment (so far), the potentially side-splitting combination of Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis is yawn-inducing at best, cringe-worthy at worst; neither comedian walking away with a solitary laugh. Of all people it's Dylan McDermott that gets a couple of amusing moments, his shady and ruthless campaign manager a welcome respite from the embarrassing blandness of the leads and other co-stars John Lithgow, Dan Aykroyd and Brian Cox. The campaign slogan for Galifianakis' bumbling Marty Huggins sums this film up most accurately: "It's a mess".
*** This review may contain 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/
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Campaign (2012): Dir: Jay Roach / Cast: Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, Jason Sudeikis, Dylan McDermott, Katherine LaNasa: Warped comedy about the deceit often associated with elections. Will Ferrell plays Cam Brady, a congressman in North Corolina who has gone unopposed for years until naive family man Marty Huggins, played by Zach Galifianakis is convinced to run against him by sources whose reasons are for greed. As predicted, Brady views this as a threat or intrusion to his cozy lifestyle and back and forth they go in competing. Huggins is led by others in his lewd suggestions while Brady uses vengeful tactics such as sleeping with his opponent's wife. This is all very crass and vulgar but its humour is on target with its subject. That could be part in due that Jay Roach previously made the Austin Powers films as well as the underrated Dinner for Schmucks. Ferrell plays Brady as a knock on George W. Bush, and in his competing state he manages to punch a baby in the face as well as put a dog in a neck brace. Galifianakis makes a great foil trying to do the right thing while being drawn to the wrong decisions. Supporting roles are unfortunately flat including the underused Jason Sudeikis as Brady's campaign assistant who has seen funnier days in other comedies. Dylan McDermott is also cardboard as some sort of enforcer out to influence one of the parties for the benefit of a higher source. It addresses the sincerity of political figures and the charades they present for votes. The jokes are often offensive but it works effectively on the vague promises made to ensure our vote. Score: 7 / 10
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