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Richard Roeper Blog

The Campaign: Roeper’s Review

I’m Richard Roeper and coming up next, Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis are fierce rivals in a battle so nasty it makes Romney-Obama seem like synchronized swimming. My review of “The Campaign,” next.

Casting Will Ferrell as a buffoonish lech of a congressman and Zach Galifianakis as his do-gooder rival seems too easy. More like a “Funny or Die” short than a whole movie. And there are times when “The Campaign” seems like an extended sketch rather than a complete comedy. But the material is so offensively funny and the laughs are so consistent, this is one of the best comedies of the year.

With real-life campaigns veering so close to self-parody, you probably have to get this outrageous for a political satire. “The Campaign” is like a political version of “Trading Places,” with Dan Aykroyd now playing one of the wealthy brothers manipulating a poor sap. He and John Lithgow are the Motch brothers, who tab Galifiankis’ Marty Huggins to run against the scandalized five-term incumbent Cam Brady, played by Ferrell.

With his horrible sweaters and his fanny pack and his unsophisticated and naïve ways, Marty seems like a hopeless patsy. But after he gets a makeover, the rivalry turns into a genuine contest.

 

“The Campaign” isn’t about the issues, it’s about the process. Director Jay Roach and the screenwriters pull no punches, literally, with even a baby taking one to the jaw in the name of tasteless comedy. It’s all beyond ridiculous, but then again, that can be said of most of the real-life scandals we’ve witnessed in recent years, from Anthony Weiner to Herman Cain to John Edwards. This is lowbrow comedy at its funniest. I give “The Campaign” an A-. I’m Richard Roeper and you can get all my reviews at richardroeper.com and on Reelz.

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