Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) is used to running unopposed for the US Congress, however, when he runs foul with his supporters, the corrupt Motch brothers (John Lithgow and Dan Aykroyd), who are trying to sell the small town of Hammond, North Carolina to the Chinese, they drop their backing. Surprising to all, they throw their support behind local tourist office director Marty Higgins (Zach Galifianakis). All of a sudden, with the help of their respective campaign managers (played by Jason Sudeikis and Dylan McDermott), this is a real political race with make overs, mud slinging, dirty tactics, and all that is expected in a race to Washington supported by corrupt business owners!
Galifianakis and Ferrell are two of Hollywood’s funniest leading men so surely pairing them together would guarnatee comedy gold? Throw in supporting turns from comedy legends Dan Aykroyd and John Lithgow and The Campagn is guaranteed to be a side splitting success – right? If only it was that easy to guarantee a great comedy!
There were good performances from a cast who were trying to do the best they could with a poor script which tried too hard, and relied far too heavily on cheap gags to get the laughs. Writers tried the shock value laugh (baby and dog being hit), the repetitive joke laugh (Marty having problems opening doors), the dirty joke laugh, the strange looking cast laugh, and every other trick they could find to make the audience laugh. As a result the film didn’t feel very free flowing, and instead of belly laughs, there were mere sniggers.
The Campaign had the potential to be a smart, comical, satirical look at the world of politics – this could have been the Anchorman of the political world but instead it is just a wasted opportunity.