Film The Campaign is a political comedy that ticks all the right boxes
09:16 GMT, 28 September 2012
With Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney turning into such a gaffe-prone buffoon, the timing of The Campaign couldn’t be more perfect.
Will Ferrell plays Cam Brady, a none-too-bright congressman from North Carolina who’s up for re-election and tipped for the vice-presidency.
He has no need to concern himself with tedious matters such as policy and budgets when he can whip supporters into a frenzy simply by punching the air and yelling: ‘Support our troops!’
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Election battle: Zach Galifianakis, left, and Will Ferrell in The Campaign
On the surface, Brady appears to be the perfect God-fearing American family man. His slogan is: ‘America. Jesus. Freedom’, which he admits means nothing but says: ‘People sure love it.’
But, scratch the surface, and you’ll find he has a cheerleader for a mistress, never goes to church, his wife only stays with him because she’s paid to and his teenage son hates him.
When he misdials and leaves a pornographic message intended for his mistress on the answer phone of a local family, the wheels of his campaign start to come off. A news conference is hurriedly called, in which Brady attempts to justify the phone call by stating that he makes more than 100,000 a year, only 1 per cent of which are inappropriate.
With his credibility damaged, Brady’s biggest backers — evil business tycoons the Motch brothers, played with suitable menace by Dan Aykroyd and John Lithgow — set about finding another candidate to pitch against yesterday’s man.
With Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney turning into such a gaffe-prone buffoon, the timing of this film is perfect
Their choice is Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis), a local simpleton they believe will be easy to manipulate.
Huggins is given an Alastair Campbell-style spin doctor (Dylan McDermott), who makes him over to the extent of getting rid of his ‘un-American’ pug dogs and replacing them with a patriotic breed.
What follows is a romp through the campaign as the pair employ increasingly desperate and underhand tactics.
As the real U.S. presidency battle cranks up, the film comes as a timely reminder of how dirty, ridiculous and absurd politics can get.
At one stage, Brady accuses Huggins of being a terrorist because of his moustache, while Huggins retaliates by challenging his opponent to recite the words of the Lord’s Prayer.
The silliness reaches a climax when Brady winds up punching a baby and kicking Uggie, the dog from The Artist.
As you would expect from director Jay Roach, the man behind the Austin Powers movies, juvenile gags are the order of the day. Subtle and sophisticated The Campaign most definitely is not. But it’s irreverent, expertly acted by all and genuinely laugh-out-loud funny.
Now watch the official trailer of The Campaign