Mocking the current state of American politics with its timely election-season release, “The Campaign” is a wobbly political satire that flip-flops between clever and crass. Filled with endless “I can’t believe they went there” moments, the film takes an almost sadistic look on just how low politicians are willing to go in order to win.
In “The Campaign,” four-term Democratic incumbent Camden Brady (Will Ferrell) is caught with his pants down before an upcoming election in an Anthony Weiner-esque sex scandal that could potentially ruin his career. Enter two mega-billionaire CEO’s, the Motch brothers (John Lithgow and Dan Aykroyd), far too obviously inspired by the Republican Koch brothers, who seize the opportunity to defeat Brady and handpick his opponent.
Their pawn? The naïve Marty Sylvester Huggins (Zach Galifianakis), the eccentric director of the local tourism center whom the Motch brothers get behind to the tune of one million dollars and super-slick campaign manager Tim Wattley (Dylan McDermott). With Wattley’s help, Huggins is quickly transformed into the über-candidate capable of giving Brady a run for his money.
Following the weeks preceding the election, “The Campaign” puts on display the worst politics has to offer. Filled with a continual onslaught of ever escalating, over the top tactics, from al-Qaeda accusations to adulterous sex-tape attack ads, the two candidates will stop at nothing to ruin the other’s reputation and win the election.
The verdict: For adults for like to laugh and are willing to stomach the vulgarity, this is worth a theatre watch. However, growing up in small-town North Carolina (much like the town in the film), I can’t help but think this flick will likely offend the very people these candidates are hoping to represent.
Opens: August 10
Directed by: Jay Roach
Starring: Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, Dylan McDermott, Jason Sudeikis, John Lithgow and Dan Aykroyd