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The Campaign (2012)

R | | Comedy | 10 August 2012 (USA)
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An incumbent Representative embroiled in personal scandal faces a no-holds-barred challenge from a naive newcomer funded by two unscrupulous billionaire lobbyist brothers.

Director:

Jay Roach

Writers:

Chris Henchy (screenplay), Shawn Harwell (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Will Ferrell ... Cam Brady
Zach Galifianakis ... Marty Huggins
Jason Sudeikis ... Mitch
Dylan McDermott ... Tim Wattley
Katherine LaNasa ... Rose Brady
Sarah Baker ... Mitzi Huggins
John Lithgow ... Glenn Motch
Dan Aykroyd ... Wade Motch
Brian Cox ... Raymond Huggins
Karen Maruyama ... Mrs. Yao
Grant Goodman ... Clay Huggins
Kya Haywood Kya Haywood ... Dylan Huggins
Randall D. Cunningham Randall D. Cunningham ... Cam Jr. (as Randall Cunningham)
Madison Wolfe ... Jessica Brady
Thomas Middleditch ... Travis
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Storyline

When Cam Brady (D-NC), a four-term Congressman, becomes a liability, the Motch brothers (think Koch brothers) recruit Marty Huggins, the son of a Republican heavy hitter, to run against him and be their vehicle to establish factories in the district that will import cheap Chinese labor. Trouble is, Marty is a lightweight, so his makeover falls to consultant Tim Wattley. The race tightens as Cam constantly shoots himself in the foot, while the prospect of winning also changes Marty and his family's dynamics. Meanwhile, Cam plays dirty, and Marty cottons on to the Moches' grand plan. What options do the rich have to get their way? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

May the best loser win.

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for crude sexual content, language and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Warner Bros.

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 August 2012 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dog Fight See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$95,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$26,588,460, 12 August 2012, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$86,907,746

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$104,907,746
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD extended cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Datasat | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In Cam's vulgar voicemail for Shana, he mentions getting tickets to "The Producers" for her parents. Will Ferrell plays Franz Liebkind, the playwright of "Springtime for Hitler", in The Producers (2005). See more »

Goofs

At the end, when accepting the congressional office that Cam Brady has declined, Marty Huggins says that he is going to "...end Daylight Savings Time. I hate when it gets dark early." In fact, DST extends the daylight so that it does not get dark early, but later. See more »

Quotes

Glenn Motch: [after Marty Huggins' ad where he tells the truth] I tried to kill you in your sleep.
Wade Motch: Huh?
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the credits there is an additional scene depicting the trial with Motch brothers. The scene also partly explains the origins of Tim Wattley. See more »

Connections

Referenced in O Candidato Honesto (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Do Lord
Written by Jay Weigel
Performed by Cranston Clements
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
An entertaining, but not totally satisfactory, political satire
1 November 2012 | by ArgemalucoSee all my reviews

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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