The last dedicated political movie to hit the box offices was The Ides of March in October of 2011. Although, this fast-paced crash course into dirty politics starring George Clooney and Ryan Gosling was about as far away as the genre can take you from this summer’s latest comedy, The Campaign.
Funny men Will Ferrell (Anchorman, The Other Guys, Elf) and Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover, The Hangover Part II, Dinner for Schmucks) face off in a race for a congressional seat in their North Carolina district.
Ferrell’s character Cam Brady has held the seat unchallenged for almost a decade, but that all changes when he makes a major political faux pas not long before the election. Two wealthy CEOs see their chance to move in on the district by putting up a challenging candidate, Galifianakis’ character, naïve Marty Huggins.
The rich men and their henchmen have hopes of controlling the area financially, and go to great lengths to make sure Huggins wins. Huggins, of course, has other plans when he figures out their scheme.
Brady and Huggins are the perfect opponents: they are opposites in every way. They are candidates from different political parties, men of different lifestyles, and politicians with different motives. Nearly every scene with both is either confrontational or hilarious, with a raunchy sense of humor and no shortage of political incorrectness.
The Campaign does an excellent job of playing to the talents of both stars. Galifianakis seems to be a natural at playing socially awkward characters, if his role in the extremely popular Hangover franchise is any indication.
Huggins is the same, with many of his political dreams based in wanting his father’s approval. Ferrell is the opposite, with a penchant for playing outspoken characters. Brady takes the label of “outspoken character” to the next level.
Chris Henchy and Shawn Harwell wrote the screenplay for The Campaign. Jay Roach directed and produced the movie, as well as Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers, among others.
With a supporting cast including Jason Sudeikis (Horrible Bosses) and Dylan McDermott (American Horror Story), The Campaign is a definite election-year guilty pleasure.