Director: Jay Roach
Starring: Will Ferrell, Zack Galifianakis, Jason Sudeikis, Dylan McDermott, John Lithgow, Dan Aykroyd.
Written by: Chris Henchy and Shawn Harwell.
Running Time: 85 mins
Release date: 28th September 2012
It’s election year in the USA again and with every election comes a movie about an election, or the election, or someone gets elected somewhere. This year, it’s the turn of Will Ferrell to put his two pence in on how elections are run and unlike the last election movie released on an election year (Kevin Costner’s Swing Vote…anyone? Anyone?) The Campaign is going to be remembered for a very long time because this is Ferrell’s funniest film since Anchorman.
In a small North Carolina town, congressman elect Cam Brady has run for the post every time without anyone else stepping up to contend him, so usually he just signs a paper and he’s Congressman again. This year, however, businessmen The Motch brothers, plan to rid Brady so they can build a factory from China and bring in cheap labour, so they introduce a challenger in the form of mild-mannered Tour Guide, Marty Huggins. Brady thinks it’s still an easy ride but what he doesn’t realise is that Huggins actually wants the job and so a proper political campaign begins, mud slinging and all.
I went to see this at a Movie Grill. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s where you can eat a meal while watching the film. Big mistake! I almost choked on several occasions. This film isn’t just chucklesome, it is gut-bursting, side-splitting, laugh-out-loud funny, some in a very shocking way indeed.
Ferrell’s style of horse-play and surreal one-liners work perfectly here as Cam Brady. Imagine Ron Burgundy running for Congress. He throws them round like they are just a natural thing for him. One particular scene, in which Brady, trying to prove his religiousness, is bitten by a snake. I can’t even start to tell you how funny the expletives are but they will become as quotable as anything from the newsroom comedy.
This time, Ferrell has a perfect comedy partner in Zack Galifianakis as the opponent Huggins. A sweet, kind man, Zack brings a lighter touch to Ferrell’s head-on style and it works perfectly. Making him slightly effeminate while having a very confused family (wait till you hear what secrets the kids have!), it is a delightful comic creation that matches Ferrell gag for gag.
It’s so hard writing a review about a film that had you laughing so hard without giving away the jokes but along with some brilliant set pieces (anyone with babies might need to look away) and the scenes in which the candidates make advertisements will stick with you for a long time after you’ve seen the film.
There’s equally excellent support too. Jason Sudeikis as Brady’s campaign manager is nicely slimey while at the same time having a human side, while Dylan McDermott, not known for his comic roles, easily slips into the silliness as Huggins more mysterious campaign manager (and there’s a hilarious, miss-it-if-you-blink gag during the credits about some of the names McDermott’s character has used…I say no more).
It is quite easy, considering the poor level of comedies this year, to rave on about this superb film and say there’s nothing wrong. There is. It does run out of steam a little near the end and the finale is slightly too saccharine-laced for my liking but this can be forgiven. getting to the ending it is a laugh-riot and I can see, in years to come, it playing nicely in a double with Anchorman. It also has a few choice words to say about American politics and how campaigns are run but the satire never gets too in the way of the silliness and this is very silly.
So once you’ve seen Ted, save your pennies up and take a bizarre trip with Ferrell and Galifianakis. You won’t be disappointed.