Tepid study of US politics fails to impress


Last updated 15:03 23/08/2012
The Campaign
ON THE HUSTINGS: Marty Huggins (Zack Galifianakis) and congressman Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) are rivals for a seat in the US Senate.

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The Campaign. Starring Will Ferrell, Zack Galifianakis; directed by Jay Roach

Congressman Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) is on the campaign trail for the United States Senate. He's as good as a done deal - there's no- one to run against him, and he's up in the polls.

That is, until a sex scandal threatens his run, and a pair of billionaire brothers (John Lithgow and Dan Ackroyd) back a candidate to oppose him.

Enter Marty Huggins (Zack Galifianakis), the most unlikely candidate for any kind of political office. The brothers want someone malleable, and they think they've found him in Marty.

Of course, nothing is ever that simple in politics. Or the movies.

The Campaign is a satirical look at the political process in America.

I know it's satire because every few minutes it was telegraphed: This is satire, you're watching satire, which, frankly, I found a little off-putting. Satire should be a little more subtle than a sledgehammer to the back of the head, and have a bit more of a sting in the tail.

Will Ferrell is one of those actors that I can pretty much take or leave - the last movie I found him funny in was Anchorman, and although he plays the randy politician to the hilt, he's mostly annoying.

Galifianakis fares a bit better. His character is an endearing sort of everyman - a little bit odd and eccentric, and, on the surface, not at all suited to a political life. He's an honest man, for one thing.

The Campaign does have its moments, but overall it's a slightly annoying, slightly untidy, overdone satire.

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- The Southland Times


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