When I first saw the trailer for The Campaign, I thought it looked really damn hilarious. Yet I was still a tad hesitant about seeing it. I think I felt what many movie-goers do anymore when it comes to Will Ferrell; skepticism. Don’t get me wrong, there are several films of his I absolutely love and can’t get enough of, but lately, many have been hit and miss (a lot more miss unfortunately).
The main thing I worried about with Campaign, was how much would it stick to the story, and how much would it delve into the ridiculous. Personally, I hate comedy films that throw in random jokes, that have absolutely nothing to do with the story, and seem like wild, unbelievable tangents. It’s the primary reason I loathe the later Scary Movie films, and quite a few of Ferrell’s (and even Galifianakis’) movies have done that lately.
I’m so happy to say that this isn’t the case with The Campaign. It stays very much grounded within it’s own story, and none of the jokes or gags felt out of place within the context of the rest of the film. By doing that, the story itself actually became more meaningful and managed to keep me interested beyond simply waiting to see what the next funny joke would be.
As I said, the film has a couple of small bobbles at the beginning. The steps it took to get set up were a little tedious, yet provided some seriously funny moments. Fortunately, once the real meat of the story starts (the actual campaign), it’s a constant barrage of funny moments and I’m not ashamed to say I was laughing so hard I was in tears on several occasions.
The acting in the film is superbly done. Ferrell turns in a very good performance and his character isn’t just a carbon copy of his old George Bush impression. This is the Ferrell of old, the one who always had you laughing, and genuinely enjoying watching to see what he’s going to do next. Galifianakis turns in an equally strong performance, managing to be both funny and likeable. It’s almost as if these two working side-by-side has forced them to ‘up their game’; bringing out some of the best jobs I’ve seen from them. They work well together and bring out the best in their individual performances.
What surprised me most, however, was that the film managed to sneak in a fairly positive message in the end. Sadly, in many an R-rated comedy these days, this is something almost completely lacking, but The Campaign brings in an obvious satire about politicians in general, but also a message about doing what’s right even if no one else thinks you should.
The bottom line is that this film is well worth your time and money. It’s definitely one of the funniest films I’ve seen this year and by skipping it, you’d be missing out on one of Ferrell’s best performances in a long time.
The Campaign (in theaters now) gets a 8 out of 10.
Have you seen it? Be sure to give us your review of the film in our movie database!