Blu-ray Review: Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis in Leaden ‘The Campaign’

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CHICAGO – Jay Roach’s “The Campaign” should have been a slam dunk. A political comedy during an intense Presidential campaign with two of the funniest actors in movies today from a director who knows how politics can make for bizarre behavior after helming HBO’s stellar “Campaign Change” about Sarah Palin & John McCain. How could it fail? While “The Campaign” isn’t an outright disaster, it’s ultimately a disappointment, taking easy shots at physical humor and sex jokes instead of the clever satire it could have been. Blu-ray rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

Using small-town politics to make broader scale jokes about the current state of our broken political system has been a common theme of fiction, theater, and film. The latest version stars Will Ferrell as a sleazy horndog modeled after Bill Clinton but with the ego of George W. Bush. Ferrell’s Cam Brady has it all including power, money, women, and no opponents at election time. Then a pair of power brokers (the wasted John Lithgow & Dan Aykroyd) find a puppet to place in office in Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis) and the fight is on. Sadly, much of the fight in “The Campaign” is physical humor. Literal fighting. There are enough smart jokes here and there to keep it from falling totally flat but it’s a surprisingly leaden and dull film given the bounty of real-life politics that could have served as comedic fodder for its writers.

The Campaign was released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 30, 2012
The Campaign was released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 30, 2012
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

America. Liberty. Freedom. Candidates Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) and Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis) care about none of these as they race for the North Carolina congressional seat in this “big, broad, laugh-out-loud farce” (Rafer Guzman, Newsday). When four-term incumbent Brady finds himself involved in a scandal, the wealthy powers that be decide to back newcomer Huggins as their pawn against him. As voting day approaches, the two literally pull no punches in the dirtiest and funniest political fight of all time… or at least until the next election.

StarClick here to buy “The Campaign”

Special Features:
o Line-O-Rama
o Deleted Scenes
o Gag Reel

“The Campaign” stars Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, Jason Sudeikis, John Lithgow, Dan Aykroyd, and Brian Cox. It was directed by Brian Cox and released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 30, 2012. content director Brian Tallerico

Content Director

Sam's picture

Wasted Potential

It is bazaar that Roach seemed to avoid actual political satire in this movie after doing so well on TV. I guess the production company didn’t want them to step on any toes, but if you are afraid of offending people perhaps satire is not the kind of comedy you should be doing. Galifianakis also seemed to be a bit restrained, and he was not as funny as I was hoping. It is not a terrible movie, and it even got quite a few cheap laughs out of me, but it could have been so much better that it is disappointing.

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