The Campaign: May the Best Loser Win (2012)

Posted: August 25, 2012 in Comedy

Only a few months away from the general election, incumbent Cam Brady is prepared to return for a fifth term to Congress while running unopposed. When two CEOs decide they have grown tired of Brady and seek to sell North Carolina’s 14th district to China, they find a candidate they believe they can manipulate to both take their position and win the election. Marty Huggins appears to be their man. Clearly a supporter of his district, Marty changes his appearance and his campaign with the help of Tim Wattley and begins to steal the spotlight from the confused incumbent. Brady falls back onto his motto and declares that he will do whatever it takes to win his seat back.

Starring: Will Ferrell (Cam Brady), Zach Galifianakis (Marty Huggins), Jason Sudeikis (Mitch), Dylan McDermott (Tim Wattley), Katherine LaNasa (Rose Brady), Sarah Baker (Mitzi Huggins), John Lithgow (Glenn Motch), Dan Aykroyd (Wade Motch), Brian Cox (Raymond Huggins), Karen Maruyama (Mrs. Yao), Grant Goodman (Clay Huggins), Kya Haywood (Dylan Huggins), Randall D. Cunningham (Cam Jr.), Madison Wolfe (Jessica Brady), Jack McBrayer (Mr. Mendenhall), Elizabeth Wells Berkes (Mrs. Mendenhall), Kate Lang Johnson (Shana)

The stars of this film may be the focal point, but they are not necessarily the stars of the comedy. Will Ferrell does feel a little worn out, though there are scenes and elements that are very entertaining. Galafianakis, on the other hand, continues to prove that he was not a one-film hit, mostly due to his consistently entertaining character. Karen Maruyama steps in as the supporting character who almost steals the film with her hilarious though potentially racially-offensive dialogue. Sudeikis, while funny at times, happens to serve more as a moral high-ground for Ferrell’s out of control campaign.

  

Jay Roach’s film serves as a topical comedy during a major election year. Rather than taking the focus of the presidential election, Roach takes an incumbent congressman and puts him up against a relative unknown who would not have a chance if he were on his own. Cam Brady is reminiscent of Ricky Bobby but in political form. He comes off extremely brash and represents all of the sleaze and stereotypes of politicians turned into more of a comedic form. His contrast is Marty Huggins, who only wants to support the people of his district and appears to have a very effeminate personality. When the Motch brothers back Marty’s campaign and supply him with a manager, his life changes dramatically, including abandoning his wife and kids and the positive, Christian ideals he held so dear. Though Huggins rarely sinks to a low level, his change affects his family and causes him to reflect on what the political process was doing to him.

  

This movie had a lot of comedic potential, but some of the jokes were ruined by the commercials and previews. The punching the baby bit was one that appeared in all of the commercials, as well as the hunting accident. Meanwhile, the film did have a number of humorous moments, but the best were not important to the story, mainly scenes including Karen Maruyama. To be honest, It would scare me if the candidates I had to choose from represented themselves in the ways of this film, which actually represents the state of North Carolina and its people in a negative light. Where the film did succeed was in its constantly forward moving plot lines and integrated humor. Ferrell’s shtick did feel a bit tired, but the inclusion of Galafianakis, Sudeikis, Lithgow and Aykroyd helped give some variety to the type of comedy this film strived to be.

The Campaign was a funny movie that also felt a little less inventive than it could have been. You get what you would expect out of Ferrell, but Galafianakis and Maruyama made the movie.

Dan’s Rating: 3.0/5

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