SideReel Review - The Campaign (2012) starring WIll Ferrell & Zach Galifianakis - by Alex Gambardella

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not much for politics. In other words, I like to stay informed, but I certainly wouldn't flock to the theater to see a film about dueling politicians. I think it goes without saying that The Campaign is an exception. 

The Campaign may disguise itself as political satire, but let's be honest – the film itself doesn't seem to know any more about politics beyond the occasional public infidelity, mud-slinging smear campaigns, and how to give the most vague rebuttals during a debate. The humor is silly, raunchy, borderline offensive... yet also hilariously executed. I'll put it this way – if baby-punching jokes aren't your cup of tea, you should stay far, far away.

Whether or not crude jokes are up your alley, The Campaign's cast undoubtedly shines. With Ferrell's seasoned corrupt politician and Galifianakis' naive underdog of an opponent leading the film, you'd think there'd be a struggle for the spotlight, but the two seem to be perfectly well-matched.  The diverse ensemble cast, from Dylan McDermott's creepy campaign manager to Dan Aykroyd and John Lithgow's slimy CEO duo, provide plenty of comedic back-up, while lesser-known up-and-comers help deliver quite a few scene-stealing belly laughs.

Those expecting a smart, witty political comedy that's perfectly timed for election season may be disappointed, but let's remember – this is a Will Ferrell/Zach Galifianakis film – and fans of the comedians' usual fare will likely get a kick out of The Campaign.

-Alex Gambardella


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