The Campaign

Directed By: Jay Roach

Starring: Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, Jason Sudeikis, Katherine LaNasa, Dylan McDermott, John Lithgow, Dan Aykroyd, and Brian Cox

I am sick and tired of hearing about Mitt Romney and Barack Obama this year.  I'm sick of the constant barrage of ads.  I'm sick of the incessant media coverage.  I'm sick of obvious half-truths.  I'm sure the election season has gotten on your nerves as well.  With this in mind, Jay Roach's The Campaign could not have had better timing.  Much like the 2004 flick Head of State, this comedy comes to deliver some laughs at the expense of our election process.  With veteran director Jay Roach (Meet the Parents, Austin Powers) at the helm, we're in good hands. 

Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) is the four-time representative of the 14th District of North Carolina.  Running unopposed, the slick-talking Brady will win the election just by signing the ballot this year.  However, Glen and Wade Motch (John Lithgow and Dan Aykroyd) of the Motch Corporation have a different plan altogether.  They want to build factories in the 14th district and "insource" workers from China at salaries below the minimum wage to lower shipping costs and double their profits.  To do so, they need to take ownership of the election.  They need a candidate to run against Congressman Brady.

The Motch brothers decide to back Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis), a strange little man but the son of wealthy businessman Raymond Huggins (Brian Cox).  Though he's a family man who loves his wife and children (Grant Goodman and Kya Haywood), Marty decides to take the opportunity to enter the race with the backing of the Motch Corporation.  He interrupts Brady's unofficial celebration and applies to run against the longtime congressman.  As a holy war erupts between these two candidates over the course of the election cycle, things get down and dirty.

The Campaign brings together two funny men we all love in Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis.  Of course, they put on one good show.  Ferrell has delivered so many classic characters over the years, and Congressman Cam Brady is no different.  He's taking care of business.  With his strong hair and his impressive trash talking, Ferrell takes dirty campaign tactics to the next level.  He's punching babies and giving the most hilarious version of the Lord's Prayer ever.  With Ferrell letting loose and getting wild again on screen, it feels like the good old days when the Frat Pack ruled the comedy scene.  Let me hear a Cam Brady 012!

Zach Galifianakis is also quite hilarious as Marty Huggins.  He's getting his broom and coming to clean up Washington.  It's a mess.  This strange little man loves his family and his pugs.  He gives us one entertaining loser.  Whether he's being a clueless rookie in the public sphere or surprisingly holding his own in debates, this guy is giving us the funny truth.  He also has plenty of comical encounters with Dylan McDermott's Tim Wattley.  All in all, Galifianakis gives a good performance.

The supporting cast is pretty strong as well.  Dylan McDermott is the standout.  As Huggins's campaign manager Tim Wattley, he brings "Republican" ideals to the Huggins campaign and basically starts running Huggins's household.  Brian Cox is also a welcome addition to the film.  A man who loves "the good old days" in the south and hates his worthless son Marty, Cox's Raymond Huggins consistently delivers some funny cynicism.  Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't mention Karen Maruyama's Mrs. Yao.  As the Huggins family maid, she delivers some of the biggest laughs of the film with her impressive accents.

What really impresses me about The Campaign is that this comedy is full of plenty of commentary on the state of politics today.  Jay Roach covers sleazy campaign tactics, shady campaign financing, ridiculous rulings by the Supreme Court, and everything that's wrong with the way Congress does business today.  Admittedly, there are a few lulls in this flick, and the movie is not a tear-jerker. The Campaign is still one pretty damn funny film.  The Campaign gets a strong 0.06% rating.  Have a few rounds of beer with this one.