The Campaign starts like a bullet with consistent laughs and great characters, especially Zach Galifianakis, but is let down by it’s final third which simply runs out of steam. It’s a movie that provides a lot of laughter throughout though, with the mixture of Galifiankis and Will Ferell a good one.
The battle between long term congressman Cam Brady (Ferrell) and newcomer Marty Huggins (Galifiankis) is an entertaining one, with both bringing some hilarious character traits to the film. Their constant rivalry is a highlight, each trying to get a leg up on each other, often in hilarious ways. The humour itself is both slapstick at times and witty at others. Some slow motion action shots are definitely winners as they are used in much cleverer ways than your usual slapstick comedy.
The humour often escalates within scenes, becoming crazier and more unbelievable – something that I found worked really well. Director Jay Roach (Austin Powers, Meet the Parents) knows how to get the audience laughing and does so, primarily in the first two thirds of the film. There’s almost something for everyone, with some parts having me laugh alone and others where the audience was roaring.
Brady vs Huggins isn’t the only plot of the film, with a few little sub-plots worked in pretty effectively. However, the final third of the film is a real downfall, when it goes from constant laughter to barely a smile. Like so many comedies these days, it tries to get emotional and deep, promoting a message when it should be making us laugh. I’m all for delivering a message, but it is done so so ineffectively that I felt it really dragged the film down, barely laughing at all in the final 30 minutes.
I’m not sure if they ran out of gags but it was a shame to see the end drag on as it did, especially for an 84 minute film. I also found that while I understood most jokes, there were definitely a few names mentioned that I had no idea about, perhaps being something an American audience would appreciate more.
The Campaign was a decent movie. It made me laugh a lot and definitely has some key funny moments I won’t forget quickly. While I found it hard to overlook the final third, it’s still a movie I would recommend for a fun night out. Look out for The Artist reference which I’m sure those who have seen the movie will appreciate! B-