Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Campaign

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!
 
The Campaign – 4 out of 5

The election is over, Obama was re-elected and Conservatives everywhere flocked to Chick-Fil-A to enjoy some good old fashion, homophobic comfort food—after they pulled the shotgun out of their mouths, of course. So, with the election madness over, the political posts on Facebook pulling back to their passive-aggressive E-card format and Conservatives are now forced to come up with other words they can use in a derogatory manner to describe Obama WITHOUT using the N-bomb and then claim they are not prejudice(because spitting the word “Muslim” like it’s not synonymous with “terrorist” is a totally legit and kind-hearted thing to do, Abortion Clinic Bombing Christian Republicans!) we can finally get back to laughing WITH each other. 

Donald Trump would ask to see his birth certificate but won't because Will Ferrell is white.

The Campaign sees Will Ferrell as Cam Brady, the usually unopposed candidate for Congress in North Carolina. After Brady’s sexual escapades lands him in some hot water with the voters, two wealthy CEOs out to make their billions turn into slightly larger billions; Glenn and Wade Motch (Jon Lithgow and Dan Aykroyd)—Motch…boy those names sound suspiciously close to some dudes who bought an election here in my home state of Wisconsin—anyway, the Koch—Motch brothers decides they need a new candidate to manipulate so they can bring in Chinese sweatshops here to the States. They bring in the kind hearted but immensely na├»ve Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis) to mold into their perfect Congressman. To ensure their manipulation of the system is complete, they bring in ruthless campaign manager Tim Wattley (Dylan McDermott).

A man that handsome MUST be evil.  Lesson here, ladies...attractive men are evil.


Dan Aykroyd doing his impressions of the fans when
they heard he wants to film Ghostbusters 3 WITHOUT
Bill Murray.
 At its core, The Campaign is less about political satire and more about your typical Will Ferrell comedy with some Galifianakis thrown in for flavor. That isn’t to say it’s a bad thing—far from it. Galifianakis (I wish I got paid by the letter when typing his name for a review) and Will Ferrell are very funny in this romp (a word I wish I got paid to say more often). The film focuses more on the dirty side of politics with mud-slinging campaigns (with a small amount of corruption) and doesn’t do much else with slamming the mind-numbing, face-palming world that is our United States Government (cue the Toby Keith Tea Baggers telling me to “get the fuck out” before they go on a long list how we have a Kenyan-born socialist Muslim Antichrist in the office who is taking away Christmas—remember, only The Tea Party is allowed to talk disparagingly about the government…and I realize I probably shouldn’t use a word as big as “disparagingly” when speaking about The Tea Party because it’s far too complicated for them to understand.)

"Man, look at all those misspellings on the Tea Party's signs..."


At times, the movie seems more about having Galifianakis (seriously, I could retire after a single review of a movie he’s in) do his character of his fictional brother “Seth” from his Live at the Purple Onion performance and having Will Ferrell unleash some of the most unique strings of vulgarity I’ve ever heard out of his mouth than it is about creating a rousing send-up about our annoying world of politics. But, like I said before, this isn’t a bad thing because the end product is funny. And since I’m on the topic of funny and I didn’t know any other way to put it into the review, Dylan McDermott’s character as the evil campaign manager had some of the funniest moments in the movie despite the fact his character kinda comes and goes within the story.

The true star of this movie...that cardigan.

With all the laughs this movie is able to provide (if you’ve seen the trailer, you know Will Ferrell’s character punches a baby and that’s just Comedy 101—punching infants is ALWAYS funny), there are a lot of missed opportunities this movie fails to jump on. I already mentioned that McDermott’s character provided some great laughs but his polar opposite, the campaign manager who wants a clean election (played by Jason Sudeikis) feels wasted as he only gives the film one mildly amusing moment. The competition between these two clear cut good and evil characters could have been a welcomed addition to the film’s story but ultimately was never realized because there needed more flamboyant behavior from Galifianakis (pay me dammit!!!).

I'm at a loss to come up with a caption for this picture.  Um...look at Sudeikis' face...
it looks like he's going to...vomit or something.  Ah, fuck it, move on with the review, we'll
come back to this one some other time.

Oh...and Brian Cox plays Galifianakis' father.  I thought
that should be noted.
Another aspect to the film’s story that wasn’t feathered out to its potential was the Koch—Motch brothers played by the two seasoned veterans of the acting and comedy game: Jon Lithgow and Dan Aykroyd. The beginning of the film offers promise of these two being the puppeteers to the election manipulation but, after the campaign portion of The Campaign goes into full swing (full swing state? Ha ha…I’ll punch myself in the junk for that bad pun), they are forced into the background and more hinted to their corrupting clutches rather than actually shown the depth of their villainy—until the end of the film, of course, when they get their comeuppance. Not only would have been nice to see the film extend its running time to offer up more scenes with these two incredibly talented men, it would have been nice to better establish their power and the level of their evil hold on the balls of the political body.

Jon Lithgow seems too sweet to be a heartless billionaire out to eff over the country.

Some minor complaints aside, The Campaign is a decent comedy that pokes fun at the ridiculous dirty politics that fill our airwaves during election season and the sad (downright scary fact) that votes and those we elect to our government can easily be bought and ruled by old, rich white guys (kinda redundant when you think about it—most politicians are old, rich white guys).  You think they could just cut out the secondary old, rich white guy and run themselves.

Alright, let's try this again...dammit, still got nothing.


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