The Campaign Review (Spoilers!)

13 Aug

Hello my faithful sidekicks!

So, lately, I haven’t been keeping up with this blog as much as I would like–between writing and life–things keep getting in the way. But I’ve had two days off from work now -faint applause in the distance- and actually found myself sitting still long enough to formulate some kind of a post.

This past Friday my boyfriend and I took in the new movie, The Campaign, with Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis. We had seen the trailers previously–and we knew the humor would be crude–but what we hadn’t realized was that the humor would also be rather dark.

In The Campaign,congressman Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) appears to be running unopposed for his fifth consecutive term for North Carolina–but two rich CEO’s (Dan Aykroyd and John Lilthgow) have a power plot in mind. With hopes of selling this district of North Carolina to China for a sweatshop for higher profit, the CEO’s back a new cadidate: Marty Huggins ( Zach Galifianakis) to run against him. Ferrell’s character is an immensely corrupt, somewhat insane congressman that will do literally anything to win back his position in congress. He is unfaithful to his wife with one of his “groupies” as well as with his opponent’s wife for an advertisement. (Which was meant to e funny, I guess, but I found borderline disturbing.) He is a hyper-sexed example of a corrupt politician in the U.S.

Unlike the corrupt  Cam Brady, Galifianakis’s character Marty Huggins is a slightly effeminate, family-oriented, awkward, badly dressed but utterly ordinary guy. (A pretty typical set up. Like the Odd Couple.) He had been previously giving tours of his tiny town, and seemed genuinely happy with his simple life. Once the Motch brothers (the CEO’s) take an interest in him, his whole life is turned upside down  He is assigned a new advisor, Tim Watley (Dylan McDermott) who makes him change everything about himself, from his beloved Pug dogs to his hygiene. Soon the movie leads us to see that Marty is tearing his life apart to win this campaign, ignoring his wife and kids and becoming a less-than lovable character as he sabotages Cam Brady’s campaign at Tim’s advice. It isn’t until Marty is confronted with the truth of his backing from the Motch Brothers that he sees the flaws in his actions. He refuses to make illegal wage concessions for the sweatshop, and turns his back on the CEO’s to try and save his town.

When Marty begins to win the campaign, Cam’s wife leaves him and does not return until the Motch Brothers change sides and pays her to be with him for appearances. Due to the power and monetary control that the CEO’s have over the election, Cam Brady wins–but steps down–acknowledging that somewhere along the way he has lost his way and his desire to fight for the people–giving Marty the job.

The humor within this film was funny at times, but at other times too close to reality to be anything other than disturbing. The personal attacks that both Ferrell and Galifianakis’s characters make on one another take a satirical jab at the current election campaigns and the points out the speed in which campaigns can become childishly and inappropriately personal.

On the Suddenleigh scale I’d say this one is probably a four out of ten. It may be a better idea to wait for this one to hit DVD. 


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