Saturday, July 13, 2024

Vulgarity and honesty works for The Campaign | Film Review

Date:

Share post:

By Kyle McCarthy | Contributing Writer

Deep in the small town of Hammond, N.C., the weight and emotional struggle of the political machine takes its toll. The tears, the bloodshed, the sex scandals, and, yes, the baby punching.

Political campaigns have become ugly, absurd competitions. Slander is common, and ads create a temporary soft spot on the viewers’ brain to keep the endless bickering a main topic of conversation among citizens. Not to mention the constant scrutiny brought on by the media, which leave some campaigns as dramatic as any reality television show.

Politics is a nasty game. Jay Roach, director of the Austin Powers trilogy, Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers, portrays this divisive and dirty journey in a hilarious satire of political campaigns, and every ridiculous detail that is involved in them with his rightfully- and simply-titled film, The Campaign.

The Campaign stars Will Ferrell (Step Brothers, Anchorman) as Congressman Cam Brady and Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover, Due Date) as opponent Marty Huggins. After jeopardizing his political career with a very-obvious sex scandal, Cam Brady, normally unopposed in his race for the congressional seat for his district in North Carolina, is set up to be put down by two powerful and money-hungry CEOs, the Motch brothers, whose names sound similar to the real-life election-buying Koch brothers.

The political gears of the machine begin turning as the Motch brothers pay for the director of the Hammond Tourist Center, Marty Huggins, to run against Cam Brady and bring their diabolical plan involving China and jobs to fruition.

Fans of Ferrell and Galifianakis will rejoice when they see this duo work together. Ferrell’s overly-dramatic, vulgar and exaggerated patriotic shtick, reminiscent of character Ricky Bobby in “Talladega Nights,” is still uncomfortably funny. Galifianakis, on the other hand, keeps things subtle and absurd, but dons the persona of his twin brother, Seth Galifianakis, from interviews as seen on “Between Two Ferns” and “The Comedians of Comedy.” Ferrell and Galifianakis, along with an exceptional ensemble of comedians, keep their audience laughing at all the necessary moments.

In any successful satire there is a great deal of truth and insight into societal functions, as The Campaign accomplishes in its portrayal of the American political scene.

The job is to hold a mirror up to society, and in the case of this film, the political side of society. Relaying such themes as criticism and scrutiny by the media during campaign season, dancing around questions, lack of privacy for candidates, economic hardships and corporate takeover of the small-town man, The Campaign puts a comedic spin on these themes.

However, the movie’s weakness in its tendency to go over the top with vulgarity.

Though funny in moderation, it took away from the essence and message the film is trying to convey: You can take your overly-patriotic, Bible-thumping, job-outsourcing ideas and shove it, because in the end, honesty and humility triumph over lies and arrogance. The Campaign certainly comes out on top as a truly funny and insightful comedy for the summer. As long as a sex joke or ten isn’t too bothersome, this film is definitely worth a watch.

Sidelines
Sidelineshttps://mtsusidelines.com
MTSU's digital daily news source

Related articles

Murfreesboro skate scene persists on Go Skateboarding Day – even without promised park 

Featured photo by Matthew Olson Story by Matthew Olson Since 2004, skateboarders around the globe unite annually to celebrate a...

27 years old never felt so good: MTSU alumnus Veggi plays at Bonnaroo

Feature Photo by Dusana Risovic, Bonnaroo 2024 Press Selects Story by Matthew Olson DJ Veggi, known as Veggibeats on social...

Gary Clark Jr. returns to Bonnaroo after 13 years 

Feature Photo by Roger Ho, Bonnaroo 2024 Press Selects Story by Matthew Olson Grammy Award winner Gary Clark Jr. played...

‘My mom, I love her ‘cause she loves me’: Bonnaroo with Ma

Feature Photo by Skyler Wendell Story by Hannah Carley Bonnaroo headliners the Red Hot Chili Peppers sold out The Farm...