For film lovers, summer is always the best time of the year. Whether it’s massive blockbusters or critical darlings, every moviegoer has something he or she wants to see. However, once August hits the number of quality movies almost always dips before picking up again for Oscar season.
The Campaign hopes to reverse that trend by succeeding both critically and financially. Even though the R rating limits the audience, I believe that this will be a fairly substantial hit for its stars Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis. Directed by comedic specialist Jay Roach, the basic premise surrounds a district election between incumbent congressman Ferrell and his challenger Galifianakis.
Overall, the film is very funny as an in-your-face raunchy comedy, but also succeeds in its satire of politics. The gross-out jokes are obviously there, with Galifianakis and especially Ferrell lighting the screen up with comedic gusto. Many may cite Ferrell as typecasting the same character yet again, but this time it really works. His classic comedic flair works perfectly with the sleazy politician that he is trying to convey; it feels completely natural. Working alongside a solid script, Ferrell is able to create a character that flawlessly embodies every well-known corrupt politician in United States history. Whether it’s the infidelity, the dirty politics or just the overall sleaze, Ferrell is perfect.
Galifianakis is also good in his portryal, but definitely nowhere near the level of comedic gold that Ferrell reaches. This character is also very similar to what Galifianakis has done in the past, and it largely succeeds this time around as well. While some of his jokes feel forced and may strike out with viewers, there are also parts where Galifianakis shines. Notably, the scenes he shares with his family are absolutely hilarious and are very reminiscent of Ferrell’s cult hit Step Brothers. In my opinion it’s definitely a good thing because that brand of awkward family comedy will never get old, and can relate with virtually anybody.
One of the biggest highlights of the film was Dylan McDermott as the manager of Galifianakis’ campaign. He epitomizes the win-at-all costs attitude and is characterized in a way that is beyond hilarious.
What really makes The Campaign a solid movie is the depth into which it satires U.S. politics. It isn’t just a one-trick pony that simply focuses on the campaigning aspect of it. Big corporations, campaign managers, family relationships, etc. are all brought into the comedic light. As you can see, there is a lot being covered, but luckily the script works well alongside these ideas making it both funny and thought-provoking for the viewer.
The Campaign is a pretty good comedy that not only derives its laughs from the typical Ferrell and Galifianakis gags, but also from a bit of solid satire. I hope it gets the proper audience it deserves because it will definitely be one of the highlights of August.
The Campaign releases August 10.