Downright Cam-painful: The Campaign Review
September 11, 2012
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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.