In theory, the concept of The Campaign should have been a good film. The comedy’s plot couldn’t be any more current or relevant to the United States these days: a career politician expects to run unopposed but is forced to put up a fight when a competitor signs up to run against him. But then you add in Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis, the film’s lead actor, and it becomes hit or miss.
Ferrell portrays Cam Brady, a God and freedom loving career politician who expects to run for election unopposed. But when some local businessmen want to open a factory in the district that will employ Chinese workers for pennies, they decide to run their own candidate: Galifianakis’ Marty Huggins, who hasn’t ever held elected office. Unaware he’s being manipulated, Huggins does everything his campaign manager (Dylan McDermott) tells him and he soars to the top of the polls. Unused to being challenged, Cam’s willing to do anything to regain the lead. The two make tit-for-tat attacks on one another that ruin their families. No need to worry: there’s a Hollywood ending where the nice guy wins.
If you like dumb comedies, The Campaign might be for you. But in truth, they don’t even put a spin on any of the stereotypical actions of politicians. They cheat on their wives, openly lie and have good hair. Politicians are already so much of a joke these days that you have to work a little harder and actually write a joke. The Campaign might be worth a viewing for Ferrell and Galifianakis’ fans but everyone else likely won’t miss anything by skipping it.