Film Review: The Campaign

The Campaign is a comedy that is as silly as American political campaigns themselves. The short running time and frequent gags make the film enjoyable.

Expecting to run unopposed again, Congressman Cam Brady expects to coast to victory in North Carolina. However, the CEOs of a corporation are looking for a candidate they can easily influence. They put forward Marty Huggins, political unknown and manager of the tourist centre…

The Campaign plays up the ludicrousness of American political ideology in an amusing manner. This is not intellectual satire, but base and sometimes crass comedy geared solely towards gaining laughs. The first half of the film is more enjoyable than the second, given that it lays more emphasis on gags. Nevertheless, the 95-minute running time ensures that the film never really drags.

There is not too much to the plot; the aim seems to be squarely on lampooning American politics. For the most part this works. The jokes hit more often than they miss, although those looking for more intellectual humour will be disappointed. When director Jay Roach tries to inject a more serious element, this appears at odds with the crass humour that populates the film.

The Campaign features an overarching commentary on the nature of American political funding. This is writ large; the message could not be more overt. The film is most enjoyable when it concentrates on the gags, rather than this elementary pontificating. After all, The Campaign is a light comedy with its humour able to be universally understood. It fails slightly when it tries to do more than this.

The all-star cast do a good job in The Campaign. Will Ferrell brings his usual outlandishness to the role, while Zach Galifianakis amuses as well. There is a tiny cameo by a well-known star, which most will find amusing.

The Campaign is exactly what viewers would expect from the trailer. Fans of this brand of comedy will find it amusing, but it offers little more than this.