Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

September 5, 2012

‘The Campaign’ more horrible truth than comedy

Movie Review

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Daily Democrat

Pauls Valley, Oklahoma — Be it never ever humble, there’s plenty to remind us there’s no place with screwy elections quite like home. Aside from the weak argument to not question our wonderful system of “democracy” because we are so “free,” there’s little to dissuade the argument that each and every election cycle has given us nothing short of a decaying public mockery. As a result, there’s little comfort we can take from our lack of choice in the lie that is the two party system, aside from the films bringing to light these failures in parody or drama. Whether it be pipe dreams like “Man of the Year” where the most honest candidate is a satirical comedian or “Swing Vote” where one man literally gets to decide our next leader, this film offers needed hope that there’s some way we can clean the filth from the process. “The Campaign” on the surface is a very typical low brow dirty jokes affair, but underneath perhaps the year’s best expose on how much politicians don’t respect their constituents. Focusing more on the congressional district level for this particular storyline, we are introduced to a man all but assured his latest term for North Carolina’s 14th District, Democrat Incumbent Cam Brady (Will Ferrell). However, he kind of shoots his unopposed run in the foot when he sleeps around, scandalously opening the door to Republican political newcomer Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis). Not to let little old infidelity prevent his hypocritical cause, Brady sets to work exposing that his opponent isn’t qualified to represent any common mass and it actually seems to work at first. Well, that is until Huggins is suddenly aided by master political manipulator Tim Wattley (Dylan McDermott), who signs on as campaign advisor and uses Brady’s idiot moves to help scum the GOP’s new boy to lead in the polls. What follows is what anyone too braindead to runaway from the 24-hour networks sees on a daily basis, something which should only be humor, paraded around as a race for our best interests. The point this movie does the best job in delivering is how easily people we elect to speak for us can be bought, with a delightfully evil example by background characters like businessmen Glen (John Lithgow) and Wade Motch (Dan Aykroyd). There are many times one might say the film is clearly exaggerating everything from the political ads to the low blows delivered by the candidates, but audiences are then reminded of how the real deal can get even worse. The film brings things a little closer to seriousness when those watching see a revelation start to develop that many of these tactics do little other than harm to everything in contact. This movie without a doubt earns the R rating with language and some nudity, which makes this one not a good idea for the kids. Other than that, I did enjoy it and would gladly watch it again after a little therapy earning “The Campaign” three and a half out of five stump speeches.

Movie viewing experience courtesy of the Royal Twin Theater of Pauls Valley.