As November looms and the mudslinging has begun between Romney, Obama. Why not, give us a political satire to prep us. The Campaign does it’s job in 80 min or less guaranteed. In fact, it’s one of the best comedies of the year.
Kudos to the casting director, netting Will Ferrell to play Cam Brady, a four term North Carolina congressman of the 16th district. Since Ferrell left Saturday Night Live. I have been chomping at the bit to see him play a buffoonish politician. Wish came true! As he’s about to sign the dotted line for his fifth term. With one chuckle inducing delay turning of the doorknob, the incumbent Marty Huggins enters his name. Huggins is played by a toned down Zach Galifianakis. Huggins is actually a candidate bought by the Motch brothers. Played to a slimy intent by the always game John Lithgow and Dan Aykroyd. It’s about time I see Aykroyd play this kind of character, think opposite of Louis Winthrop from Trading Places. Brilliant satirizing of the conservative Koch Brothers. This had to be done after Brady’s unfortunate raunchy misdial to a christian household. Hilarious.
Huggins is probably one of the kind, considerate, compassion small town simpletons you have ever seen. He’s is a family man that is so nervous that he asks his family to spill out all their secrets. Some are funny, some are disturbing but keeps it lighthearted. Then, the Motch Brothers hire a slick campaign manager, Tim Wattley played by a scene stealing Dylan McDermott. McDermott embodies Wattley like an Armani suit at a second hand store. He throws in every change possible to turn Huggins into a no nonsense, punctual candidate. Witness the scene where he changes up the household including the dogs, that alone will make you laugh out loud. He also gets his share of some solid one-liners.
Come on! This is still Brady vs Huggins. At first, Brady has the upper hand basically know when the right time is to put out the same old inspiring speech until Huggins throws him into a holy war. Watching Ferrell improv his way through the Lord’s prayer was classic comedy reminiscent of Chevy Chase back in his Vacation years. They battle each other in everything from Buddhism, Jewish, and even grassroot principles. Satirized to an extreme and sometimes offensive high, but it’s comic timing makes it funny on it’s own. They also make some over the top campaign commercials including when Brady makes one on his own as an act of revenge on Huggins. Hey, not going to give too much away.
Director Jay Roach (coming off HBO’s Game Change) has experience with politics and it’s refreshing to see a political satire that shows a balance of truth and fiction making it one funny cocktail of propaganda and comedy. Roach keeps the two likable mavericks under control long enough and then lets them go wild. Witness a baby punching incident that was perfectly done without being offensive or distasteful. Trust me, you will be crying with laughter. We also get good supporting work by Jason Sudeikis as Brady’s campaign manager, Sarah Baker as Mitzi Huggins, and the always reliable Brian Cox as Huggins’ father. The Campaign is a tight political farce filled with likable performances, great improv, and finally a solid ending to a Will Ferrell film. Now that alone is rare.
The Campaign gets my vote and an A-
I’m Jake Turner and I approve this review.