Top critical review
on 10 February 2014
After watching ‘Anchorman’ I became one of the biggest Will Ferrell supporters around, no matter what he released I would always find something in it, knowing that ‘Anchorman’ was just so good. However, after mediocre affair after mediocre affair, the shine has finally worn off. ‘The Campaign’ is a classic example of his more recent output; ok, but he is no longer the outstanding comedian of his generation.
Ferrell plays Congressman Brady, a lazy politician whose guaranteed re-election has made him incredibly lazy and disrespectful. Enter the dweeby Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis), a put upon softy who decides to run against Brady. The film is ripe for political satire and at times it plays it well. However, this is a knockabout comedy starring Ferrell and Galifianakis, so it is more about stupid antics than intelligent debate. Some of the daft scenes are good fun and the way that the dirty tricks spiral out of control is well written. The issue is that some of the scenes just fall flat.
Like so many recent R rated comedies, ‘The Campaign’ is filled with unlikable characters. Neither Brady nor Marty is particularly sympathetic and they had to add some shady lobbyists to make them look even vaguely like decent people. Towards the end, when the inevitable clash of characters leads to a mutual respect they do grow on you. I would actually like to see a sequel where the two characters get to play off one another as allies; their incompetency would make them as bad a set of friends as they were enemies. An amusing comedy that is standard for America at the moment, but not exceptional in any way.
Not much in terms of extras on the version I saw, just some deleted scenes that you don’t really need to see. In terms of whether HD is needed, like so many comedies, it is perfectly serviceable on DVD.