<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Jay Roach. Starring Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, Jason Sudeikis, Dylan McDermott, John Lithgow, Dan Aykroyd, Brian Cox, Karen Maruyama.
With a brilliantly funny and capable star cast like this it’s hard to go seriously wrong. And The Campaign fulfills its goal of shocking you into laughter and realisation that American politics, religion and morals are bringing the country to ruin.
You can’t have Will Ferrell and Zack Galifianakis in a film together and not expect some seriously outlandish humour, lathered with heaps of vulgarity, hilarity and slapstick. And The Campaign kicks off right from the start with heavy doses of it all. At first you’ll be a bit taken aback by the cuss words, verbal sexual content and vulgar dialogue but deep inside you know you want to laugh out loud. And you will, just let go of your inhibitions a tad and you’ll enjoy this film heaps.
Will Ferrell plays long-term Congressman Cam Brady who’s running for re-election from his constituency. But the Motch brothers – played by comic legends Dan Aykroyd and John Lithgow don’t want him to win (well, at least at first) so they set up their good friend Raymond Huggins’ (Brian Cox) ‘weird’ and malleable son Marty (Zack Galifianakis) to oppose Cam Brady in the elections. And thus begins a campaign that is probably not half as loony or cut-throat as real life US political campaigning.
Jason Sudeikis plays Mitch, Cam Brady’s campaign manager and Dylan McDermott plays Tim Wattley, Marty’s ruthless and rugged campaign honcho. The moment McDermott is on screen you’ll hear a collective ‘ohhhh’ from the women in the theatre. After all, he’s the only eye candy in this movie of misfits and oddballs!
The Campaign is a scathing satire on American politics, the dirty tricks, the manipulative but senseless ‘debates’ and the mudslinging. It’s so accurate that you only have to read up on what’s going on in the current American political scenario to realise the crazy in this film is probably not as insane as the dumb and dumber things said by the real US campaigners.
Karen Murayam as the Huggins’ family housekeeper is stellar with her ol’ style African-American faux accent and punchy line delivery. My only grouse about the movie is that John Lithgow and Dan Aykroyd don’t get to be as hilariously funny as you know them to be. Otherwise, The Campaign is bang on if you like well-made slapstick humour with oodles of sexual innuendo and vulgarity played out by some of the finest comic actors in Hollywood.