Downright Cam-painful: The Campaign Review

Warner Bros.

Ferrell and Galifinakis star as Cam Brady and Marty Huggins, opposing candidates for Congressman.

Will Hanley
September 11, 2012

Grade: C

It seems that as it runs out of ideas, a clueless Hollywood has started to pick random celebrities out of a hat, hoping to find the perfect unlikely comedic duo. First it was Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifinakis starring in Due Date, which was more painful to watch than a car crash. This was followed by 21 Jump Street with Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, a comedy that favors Tatum just a bit too much. Such celebrity combinations just didn’t work. You’ll find nothing different in The Campaign.

Much like a jock’s girlfriend, The Campaign is strong in looks and weak in personality. It provides a host of well known cast members while creating a predictable and washed-out plotline that has been recycled at least one hundred times over. It may be an interesting (and somewhat accurate) look at modern day politics; however, the melodramatic style in which this story is presented is ridiculous and unsatisfactory to anyone with a sense of comedic taste.

The Campaign opens with Cam Brady (Ferrell) running for his fifth term as Congressman of the 14th District of North Carolina, once again unopposed. However, Brady is such a vulgar dunderhead that he would never have really gotten elected in the first place. I’m sorry, but he will always be Buddy the Elf to me. Seeing everyone’s favorite Christmas hero punching babies, using a bad Southern accent, and performing unspeakable deeds in a Port-a-Potty made me downright ill.

Galifinakis plays Marty Huggins, a strange, out-of-touch family man who gets talked into running against Brady by a greedy oil company. The polar opposite of Brady, Huggins soon gives the popular congressman a run for his money while trying to keep up with his family in the process. Keeping his proverbial cards close to the chest, Galifinakis does not stray far from his classic acting formula: be an idiot. This has gotten a laugh in The Hangover and even Due Date, but here it seems a bit ridiculous and overdone. We get it Zach: you’re stupid. Now PLEASE find a new character model.

Apart from the talent, this movie just isn’t funny. I didn’t laugh once during the film. Time and time again jokes were followed by complete silence (and the occasional cough.) Although the basic situation of the film could have been a goldmine for writers, nothing interesting or hilarious really happens.

The writers kept the jokes at a very basic level, making them only laughable for basic people. The humor was in horrible taste and, at times, just downright dumb. The central jokes revolved around animal cruelty, Third World labor, fat people, and Republicans, to name a few.

Although The Campaign isn’t really a comedy, it did have a couple moments where I was actually engaged and felt real sympathy for the characters. I wouldn’t call the characters interesting, but they are heartwarming. Truth over lies is a theme that is demonstrated throughout the movie, and is actually what America needs to hear right now with election day fast approaching. Unfortunately, this theme is slathered with self-destructing jokes that make this comedy just a bit too raunchy to stand.

The Campaign is one of those movies that provides just as much entertainment as the trailer two months ago did. Galifinakis and Ferrell can now be added as the latest addition to the failing genre of “couple comedy.”

Although the movie is heartwarming at times, no content, bad writing, horrible jokes, and an unappealing mix of comedians earns this movie a thumbs down.


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Comments

13 Responses to “Downright Cam-painful: The Campaign Review”

  1. asinha on September 11th, 2012 7:34 pm

    Great article!

  2. zpacalin on September 11th, 2012 8:54 pm

    A weak script can never support a movie…and I’m not sure what a comedy is if not funny. Now I know what not to see.

  3. Sam Parish on September 11th, 2012 10:15 pm

    Galifinakis really does need to find a new character to play…I did like Ferrel’s accent in the previews though, if only because it’s so bad. I was considering watching this, but not anymore. Maybe it could be fun if you got a group of friends to make fun of it.

  4. mrichardson on September 11th, 2012 10:39 pm

    I was surprised, I thought this movie would be great because of all the funny actors in it. How sad.

  5. Nolan Martin on September 12th, 2012 1:37 am

    I have to defend the movie to a point; while it didn’t have me in stitches, it offered funny insight into the over the top nature of American politics. While not usually a fan of Ferrell features, I found this most recent picture to be funnier than most of his movies and appreciated the fact that it tried to do more than merely offer slapstick humor with stupidity and vulgarity.

  6. Harrison Holland-McCowan on September 12th, 2012 4:40 pm

    The whole point of the movie was a satire. Will ferrel is supposed to be distasteful and it’s supposed to be unrealistic. Elf is literally his cleanest movie, “blades of glory”, “anchorman”, “step brothers”, all are played from a similar perspective.

  7. shenze on September 13th, 2012 7:39 pm

    I completely agree with the degree of pain which accompanies a movie who throws a random pair of comedic actors into one film, simply hoping for the best, but getting the complete opposite. An immediate turnoff to me.

  8. Evan on September 13th, 2012 8:19 pm

    Zach Galifinakis literally has no talent whatsoever. He plays the exact type of character every single movie he “stars” in. The only character he is capable of playing is a combination of so blatantly stupid it might be funny, and a complete meaningless clown that does not add to the plot at all. Maybe he should date Kristen Wiig and produce another talentless offspring.

  9. Katie on September 13th, 2012 8:39 pm

    I think any movie with an actor like Will Farrel is not worth my time. Even with the hilarious Galifinakis, I don’t think I could stand a movie like this. The plot seems a bit ridiculous, almost as if they ran out of entertaining ideas for a comedy.

  10. David Schmitt on September 14th, 2012 2:49 pm

    I find it very unfortunate that Zach Galifinakis can’t find another comedic role. I think that he’s very talented, but his unwillingness to try new roles is holding him back

  11. greid on September 14th, 2012 8:55 pm

    Awesome review! I was considering going to watch this movie in theaters, but after reading your critiques, I’m definitely going to see something else. Thanks for sparing me $12!

  12. sviswanathan on September 16th, 2012 10:50 pm

    You definitely make a point that this movie is dumb humor. But I have to say that so many of these movies, especially ones that Zack Galifinakis is in have made money off of their stupid humor. Sadly enough, these are the kinds of movies that crack me up the most

  13. Robbie Gordan on September 20th, 2012 2:40 pm

    I was trying to decide whether to see this movie too. Lucky for me I read this first!