MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: **1/2 (out of 5)
Will Ferrell as CAM BRADY
Zach Galifianakis as MARTY HUGGINS
Jason Sudeikis as MITCH
Dylan McDermott as TIM WATTLEY
John Lithgow as GLENN MOTCH
Dan Aykroyd as WADE MOTCH
Directed by: Jay Roach
BY KEVIN CARR
As the U.S. Presidential election approaches (and as we move past it, I’m sure), it’s nice to have a diversion. For the overtly politically minded, that diversion might also involve politics. One way to keep in the spirit of the season but have some laughs as well is by checking out “The Campaign,” which has just been released on DVD and Blu-ray.
The story follows a North Carolina Congressman named Cam Brady (Will Ferrell), who usually runs unopposed. However, when the men controlling his SuperPAC lose faith in him, they enter a patsy named Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis) into the race. What erupts is one of the most bitter and ludicrous battles in fake movie election history.
What makes “The Campaign” a fun diversion is its absurdity. It takes the cliches of an election year – like brutal campaign ads, the ever-present media, focus group research and not-so-subtle real-life comparisons to SuperPACs (run by the “Motch” brothers, haha) – and takes them to an extreme.
Still, when you watch this film, and then compare it to the current campaigning around the country, it might not actually seem as absurd as it was meant to. That’s a reflection of the sad state of our country’s politics. At least in the film, Brady and Huggins do real photo ops and don’t stick their feet in their mouths when it comes to rape.
While the Blu-ray includes the extended cut with eleven extra minutes (featuring scenes that offer a few laughs but weren’t entirely necessary), there are relatively limited special features. These include a gag reel, a funny assortment of deleted scenes and some pretty clever line-o-rama multiple takes.
Whether Democrat, Republican, Independent or even the nonsensical but sadly very real undecided-days-before-the-election voter, you can find something funny about “The Campaign.” It’s raunchy, and it’s raw. It has its flaws, and some of the jokes don’t quite stick. However, as someone from Ohio who can literally wallpaper my garage with campaign fliers and direct mail pieces, it’s a welcome change from the frenetic over-seriousness of this year’s real-life campaigns.