By: Oberst Von Berauscht (Four Beers) –
Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) is a debaucherous Congressman running comfortably unopposed for re-election in a rural district of North Carolina. But when a scandalous answering machine message becomes headline news, the opposition decides to run dark-horse candidate Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis) against him. Marty is a strange, flamboyant individual whose only saving grace politically is his squeaky-clean nature. His Campaign is financed by Glen and Wade Motch, billionaire brothers who are sure they can control Marty. And when they hire manager Tim Wattley (Dylan McDermott) to help Marty beat Cam, it becomes a game of smear or get smeared.
Marty Huggins is suspiciously similar to Zach Galifianakis’ “brother” Seth.
It is obvious this is a character that he’s been honing for years, and The Campaign provides a platform for him to stretch this character to it’s absolute limit. And Marty Huggins turns out to be a pretty hilariously strange person, and provides for a large percentage of the film’s effective jokes. If you watch the above video and decide that you’d find it funny to see that character run for Congress, the movie is certainly worth a look.
The same cannot be said for Will Ferrell, who is basically playing a modified version of his George W. Bush impression, complete with awkward speeches and overall cluelessness. Ferrell’s humor often seems to come from the “long” joke, where he riffs on a single subject for a lengthy amount of time. Sometimes this works…
And then there are the Motch Brothers, the subject of this film’s weak attempt at political satire. In the film, the Motch Brothers are behind an evil scheme to sell part of the congressional district to China to turn into a giant sweatshop. Naturally, the makers of this film weren’t going for anything revelatory and smart, but they could have tried to at least have the villains not feel too stupidly corrupt for even a Frank Capra antagonist.
Mr. Potter will swallow your soul (and foreclose on your Grandma)
There are multiple political attack-ad parodies in the film that were clearly designed with the intentions of being shocking, and funny. But for some reason, I found these the weakest element of the movie, as none of them got so much as a chuckle out of me. (And I’m not alone, the theater audience as a whole was dead silent) If I had any advice to Will Ferrell, it is to leave political satire to someone else.
This is how it is done.
If it weren’t for Zach Galifianakis’ hilarious performance, this movie would have little to recommend, but he gets some good laughs out of an otherwise weak comedy.
Take a Drink: whenever Tim Wattley’s name is spoken (Seinfeld Fans and Anti-Dentite’s only).
Keep Drinking: anytime Will Ferrell beats a dead joke into the ground.
Drink a Shot: when Will Ferrell punches someone, or something.
Take a Drink: for each political advertisement.