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Arts/Entertainment, The Movie Corner

The Campaign

2.5 Stars

 I was unable to catch this one In August when it was released.  Fortunately, I live near one of those second run theaters.  I decided to waste part of a morning by watching this latest Will Ferrell offering.

First of all, let me preface this by saying that I am a Ferrell fan.  I know his movies are lowbrow comedy, but sometimes it is just nice to turn the old brain off and enjoy a flick.  Having said that, I think a lot of the comedy in this movie fell flat.

Ferrell plays congressman Cam Brady, A Democrat running unopposed in North Carolina.  Brady has several mishaps, which prompts the Motch Brothers (a thinly veiled jab at the Koch Brothers) to find and back a Republican to run against Brady.  Their search leads them to town tourist agent Marty Huggins, played by Zach Galifianakis.  Marty is as religious and innocent as they come, and with a little prompting from his father, he accepts the offer to run for Congress on the Republican ticket.

Throughout the movie, there are some comedy gags that are good, and some that fail.  Ferrell is often over the top, but throughout most of the movie, the two lead actors play off one another pretty good.  I really got a kick out of the campaign commercials featured in the movie, and loved the debate segments.

I did find the parallels to our real life election process to be very comical.  Besides the obvious, like the Motch Brothers, there were a few subtle jabs at both sides of the political spectrum.  For example, it seemed pretty obvious to me that Brady was modeled after John Edwards, and I think Huggins was a parody of Rick Santorum.

If you like Will Ferrell, you will probably enjoy this as well.  I was hoping for dynamic interaction between Ferrell and Galifianakis, as these two seem like they would be a comedy match made in heaven.  There were certainly some shining moments, but I feel they missed the potential that these two had teaming up.  Perhaps a Step Brothers 2, with Zach getting adopted?

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