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2 and 1/2 out of 4 stars
You know how sometimes when you're watching Will Ferrell in a movie you feel like you're watching a really long "SNL" skit? Well, "The Campaign" is sort of like that -- a bunch of funny scenes mashed together to make one movie; except in this case, it's not ready for prime time.
"The Campaign" makes fun of our political campaign system so well, that at times you begin to wonder how true to life is this movie? "The Campaign" is full of laughs, but is not for everyone. There are some extreme moments like sucker punching a baby, dancing with snakes and a lot of vulgarity. It's just enough ridiculousness that you hope that this is just Hollywood having some fun. I went back and forth from laugh-out-loud moments to "Oh no, they didn't just do that." The movie also did a good job at not making fun of one party over the other. So if you like political satires, then go check out "The Campaign." If you can't stand Ferrell, then skip it.
-- Kenny Grams, Lawrenceville
3 out of 4 stars
Jay Roach, the director behind three "Austin Powers" movies, brings us his latest comedy, "The Campaign" starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis. Ferrell portrays Cam Brady, a patriotic, philandering congressman who suddenly finds himself running against Marty Huggins (Galifianakis), the goofy town tour guide with no prior political experience. Jason Sudeikis ("Horrible Bosses") livens several scenes as Cam's campaign manager. Rounding out the cast are a few well-known actors in supporting roles including Dan Aykroyd, John Lithgow and Dylan McDermott (although most of them have limited screen time and few memorable scenes). Watch for Uggie, the lovable Jack Russell Terrier from "The Artist," who makes a (hilarious) brief appearance.
"The Campaign" is definitely a comedy for adults, earning its "R" rating because of constant crass jokes and frequent bad language. Fans of "Anchorman" and "The Hangover" will know what to expect as far as the laughs go, and the lead actors do not disappoint in this respect. However, there are times when Galifianakis lacks consistency in his characterization and in his strange, lisp-laden accent. In some ways, Ferrell seems to be playing the same type of character over and over again and one wonders if the public will tire of it at some point.
The pacing of the movie is very good and the running time -- at less than 90 minutes -- is just right for the attention span of most of the folks who seek out this kind of film. "The Campaign" is a fun diversion for an evening at the movie theater with a group of friends who like to laugh.
-- Paul Tate, Sugar Hill
1 and 1/2 out of 4 stars
This may be the longest one and a half hour in the movie world as we see two political candidates go toe-to-toe in the name of serving the public. Must say though, while there is a bit of crude humor thrown in for show, the movie on balance underperforms. Set in North Carolina, Brady, played by Will Ferrell, and Marty, played by Zach Galifianakis are the stars in this lightweight adventure.
One issue is the chemistry of the supporting casts, save the campaign managers, are not on par. Therefore, we have four actors trying to carry the day and it just does not reach. The movie is a mixture of gross, goofy and regrettable scenes and gags that scroll across the screen in willful abandonment. Of course, we do get to the see the orchestrated mud slinging complete with a punched baby and dog. We also see Will and Marty's wife, Mitzi, engaged in an embarrassing moment. Some things are better left unseen and unheard. This movie is clearly one of those things.
-- Rick Wright, Auburn