Release: Friday, August 10, 2012
Will, meet Zach. This is a man that’s been missing from your itinerary for some time, and I’m glad you had a minute to fit him into your schedule. Though in recent years you seemed to have fallen into this repetitious, Adam Sandler-like funk, trying to fit in as many roles within the decade as possible, its now come to my attention that your work ethic paid off. You’ve reached comic utopia once again with The Campaign. Oh, and your hair….very stylish. Very Ron Burgundyesque.
You were then a series of Burgundy carbon-copies: Chazz Reinhold; Ricky Bobby; Jackie Moon; Brennan Huff; Deangelo Vickers. Some of these stars shone brightly, a few of them couldn’t cause a chuckle. Now, here we meet you as Cam Brady — a name that’s shrewdly comical because it sounds so politically correct. I want to shake your hand, provided you don’t punch me in the face, too.
When you got together with Galifianakis, please tell me you had a line-o-rama with the man’s last name. Presenting the two of you together at the Oscar’s last year may have blown the cover of this new alliance, but even then it seemed to show great chemistry between you two. In the North Carolina story, particularly in scenes where political clout and personal baggage clashed, it was like being back at the news desk with a highly incompetent weatherman and an over-the-top sports commentator. I suppose what I’m saying, Will, is there is no limit to quality banter among highly-paid actors.
Your Brady, the ‘tried-and-true’ choice for the 14th Congressional District of North Carolina, wanted nothing more than to be at the top and to make all others look really, really bad. When a nobody suddenly started challenging, you dashed quickly to your many leather-bound books and an apartment that smelled of rich mahogany. To your dismay, you couldn’t keep up in the end. You made it look like a five-year-old could have competed against you. And possibly could have won.
I suppose what put the icing on the democratic cake here (sorry, I’ll never vote for elephants) is the combination of slapstick humor and a rather politically satirical script. What wasn’t working for a long time for you, Mr. Ferrell, has seamlessly come together in one single movie; a short one at that! Clocking in at an anorexic hour and twenty-five minutes, The Campaign provides all the lighthearted guffawing we require in an election year. There’s far too much at stake to crack a joke at a debate (much less a fart); there’s far too much buzz surrounding opponents for real-life candidates to actually get close enough to one another’s wives as to be able to make a move on them. And there’s far, far too much liability in getting into a car completely hammered, then driving off. But that’s how Cam Brady does, as his wife maintains.
If Anchorman was designed to put men on the silliest, most sexist pedestal in 1960s and 70s corporate America, The Campaign has done wonders for the modern political process, while cleverly avoiding parodying particular figures at the same time.
It’s clear Galifianakis would have fit into many Ferrell comedies in the past. But with them waiting until now to join forces, this truly was a campaign I would vote as Best Comedy of 2012.
Recommendation: Two thumbs up (Ebert & Roeper-style). If you’re a fan of his past work, this will further prove your faith in Ferrell. Personally, I think he should really try running for office. A nation led by one of the funniest men to come out of SNL could be a better place to live. Or we might not ever get anything done. Who knows.
Running Time: 85 mins.
Quoted: “Because Filipino tilt-a-whirl operators are our nation’s backbone!”
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