Although the year is not yet over, I think it is close enough to say that 2012 has just not been the year for comedies. Sure, there were a few funny flicks to be released this year like “American Reunion,” “21 Jump Street,” “The Dictator,” and “Ted,” but for the most part, this year’s comedies have been rather lackluster.
Fortunately, director Jay Roach’s latest flick, “The Campaign,” falls into the former category.
The film follows Cam Brady (Will Ferrell), a Congressman from North Carolina seeking his fifth consecutive term in office. Things appear to be going his way until two CEO’s decide to sponsor another unlikely candidate, Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis) to run against Brady. Things get ugly quickly and the two candidates hold nothing back in their attempts to get into office.
Both actors are absolutely perfect for the lead roles. Ferrell plays more of a straight man compared to Galifianakis’s bizarre character, but both comedians provide ample laughs. With two comedic heavyweights starring, there was definitely potential for one of them to outshine the other, but fortunately that is never the case and each actor holds his own against the other. This is especially true in one of the film’s funnier scenes in which the candidates try to trash talk each other. What comes out of their mouths is ludacris and absurd and for the most part not even that insulting, but the two actors play off of each other so well that audience members won’t be able to contain their laughter.
One of the film’s best aspects is it’s sharp satire of the modern political climate. With the presidential election coming up, politics is on the mind of those who pay attention to or care about the news. Between all of the debates and television commericals slamming the opposing candidate, politics is one of the most cutthroat of all career fields.. “The Campaign” pokes fun at all of these things, showing just how far each candidate would go to win the election. Things go so far it’s almost unbelievable, and screen writers Shawn Harwell (one of HBO’s “Eastbound and Down” writers) and Chris Henchy’s script provide numerous raunchy gags and several, “Did that just happen?” type of moments. The script is clever and witty and is just raunchy enough to provide ample laughs over the course of the film’s 85 minute run time while at the same time finding a suitable balance for the film’s sharp satire.
“The Campaign” was one of my most anticipated summer movies and fortunately, it did not disappoint. A must see for fans of the leading men, or for anybody in the mood to laugh out loud at a good comedy. While the brand of humor may not be as envelope pushing as “Ted” was, there is still plenty of clever gags to keep audience members entertained.
Four stars out of five.