"I'm Cam Brady, and I seductively approve this message."
Warner / 96 Minutes / 2012 / Unrated / Street Date: October 30, 2012
In The Campaign, Will Ferrell plays yet another lovably boorish a-hole of a dude: Cam Brady is well-dressed, spazzy, bigger-than-life - a class clown good ol' boy. He's been a congressman for a while now, and he shows no sign of wanting to step away from his taxpayer-funded lush life. This is a guy totally trained when it comes to kissing babies and making a case for himself, but he also loves his money, and never quite seems to have enough of it lying around.
Eventually the bough breaks, and one of Cam's multiple dumbass-fueled actions makes him a couple enemies in the form of billionaires Wade and Glen Motch (Dan Aykroyd and John Lithgow). They decide that they have to bring Cam to his knees and get another puppet out there in Congress, but anyone in the area with the background and gravitas to pull off a successful campaign has either left town or is serving time. Alas, here comes city employee Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis), the guy who the Motches want to turn into a bona fide politician, one who can kick Cam Brady where it hurts.
And that's the territory that The Campaign orbits around during its thankfully short hour-and-a-half running time. Basically, the movie is exactly what its posters and loud trailers present - it gives Galifianakis and Ferrell ample opportunities to spread their shtick, the high-profile concept of the film's script is just well-oiled enough to keep you caring until the last reel, and we get a supporting cast - Dylan McDermott, Jason Sudeikis, Brian Cox - that brings just enough marquee glow to the picture.
Is The Campaign a Will Ferrell classic? Probably not, though Jay Roach proves to be a fine director for the project: he lends the film a basic irony and smartness that counters Will's and Zach's onscreen pratfalls nicely. No, The Campaign is yet another in a long line of Will Ferrell movies that makes for a perfect funny ha-ha escape in the form of a Friday night rental before bedtime.