ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Movie review: The Campaign

Updated on September 26, 2012

They say that the art to great comedy is timing. Well, in terms of its release, amongst the hurly burly of the run-up to the US presidential election, The Campaign is spot on.

And considering how often he spoofed politicians during his time on Saturday Night Live (most notably George 'dubya' Bush, who he even went to play in his Broadway debut in his one man show You're welcome America: A Final Night with George W. Bush), Will Ferrell is the perfect choice to play a Congressman up for re-election.

Politically then its release is well-timed, it's just a shame the same can't be said for the comedy.

It looks Highly like congressman Cam Brady (Ferrell) is going to be re-elected to represent the state of North Carolina for a fifth successive time, particularly when you consider that he's about to run unopposed.

Things change however, when the brothers Motch – Glen (John Lithgow) and Wade (Dan Ackroyd) – two unscrupulous businessmen, need to have a congressman in their pocket to allow them to build a factory, so they can hire illegal immigrants to work for them for peanuts. They manage to persuade Marty Hugguns (Zach Galifianakis), an amiable, small town tourist guide, to run for the good of the state.

As polite and well-meaning Marty is, it's not long before he gets sucked into the dirtiest, mud-slinging tactics with his opponent, and, as is the way with most campaigns, party politics are soon thrown out of the window in favour of more highly personal ones.

The film begins promisingly enough, with more laughs to be had in the opening credits alone than most other comedies have for their full duration. But, much like a man in his eighties, it just can't keep it up.

As expected, this is the perfect comic territory for Ferrell, who can do this kind of comedy in his sleep. You would expect Galifianakis to be the perfect foil for him, but the Hangover star's character feels nothing more than a tepid impersonation of Ned Flanders, even down to his dress sense. In any case, his character is substantially weaker than Farrell's and far less entertaining.

And as the film progresses, the jokes begin to wear thinner and thinner too. Despite the fact the film thankfully comes under the 90 minute mark, it still manages to feel like it outstays its welcome.

Director Jay Roach (Austin Powers,Meet the Parents) clearly had a lot of confidence with his two leading men to improvise a lot on this project, as the script obviously had little in the way of laughs. Unfortunately, there was just too much needed to be done by the pair, to lift this up to anything other than average.

Roach should have realised that audiences have become a little more sophisticated where political comedy is concerned, particularly with Armando Iannucci doing his thing on both sides of the pond with In the Thick of it, Veep and In the Loop. This film's brand of comedy is far softer in comparison, and lacks the dark savagery you get with a character like Malcolm Tucker.

The film does well to hold your interest from the off, but like most high profile political campaigns, it pretty much fizzles out towards the end.

If this film was a policy, it would be deemed a quick fix to a long term problem; and that's why it shouldn't count on your vote.

3 booms


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)