The Campaign (2012) Review

director: Jay Roach

writers: Chris Henchy & Shawn Harwell

starring: Will Ferrell and Zack Galifianakis

genre: Comedy

released: August 10, 2012 (U.S.), 4 October, 2012 (Germany), October 11, 2012 (Greece)

As an election year, "Hollywood" thought that a political film would correlate well with the public and they weren't wrong. This time around they didn't go with the silly sobby route of "Swing Vote" (2008). Instead they went full on raunchy comedy and political commentary. Which the comedy part most of the times not only works, but is quite eccentric and hilarious. Whereas the political commentary falls flat almost every time.


Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) is the unbeaten and unopposed congressman of the 14th District of North Carolina. Due to this he can't help, but go off the rails and continue the usual political game of lying and ignoring the American public. It couldn't get better for him, than having mistress and alcohol. Until, the billionaire Koch Bros. decide to support a unknown candidate in Marty Huggins (Zack Galifianakis) and fulfill their sinister economic plot of making even more money than before. With this game changer, the eccentric Brady and weird Huggins go at with no rules holding them back.


Personally, I laughed enough to recommend this film but who to recommend it to? Before anyone sees the film they must know of its comedic material in a bit more detail. "The Campaign" is not for the lighthearted. Its incredibly racy, controversial and edgy with its humor. Fart & genitalia jokes aren't far from it, and it doesn't lose the chance to show nudity, nor have offensive language.

Two great comedic filmmakers in Jay Roach (Austin Powers Films & Meet the Parents) & Adam McKay (Talladega Nights & the Other Guys) came together to make this film happen and for some, that could have been considered a comedic match made in heaven. Sadly the important part of the equation McKay doesn't lend a helping hand in writing this film and could be seen as the much needed spark to let this film loose in being memorable and astonishing like his other films.

Without him the film relies upon political commentary and an insane plot of political game to balance the humor. This would have never been needed if not only McKay had helped with the script, but also with his writing partner Will Ferrell. Think back to "Talladega Nights", "the Other Guys", "Step Brothers" and also "Anchorman". It was their writing that put these films on a another level of comedic writing and in process creating some of the best comedic moments cinema history.

Yet, that is the only criticism that I can lay upon this film. Whereas the ultimate goal is accomplished by making me and hopefully you laugh a hell of a lot during the duration of the film. Maybe not to the level of previous films of some these great filmmakers and cast. However to the point where many comedies of today don't come close to. Because in all truth, comedies today have no guts to push the boundaries and continuously remain stale to cinema audiences, instead of provoking people's emotions and ideas in a comedic format.


If your a fan of the cast & crew behind this film you wont be disappointed. The only reason to dislike this film is for the level of profanity and explicit humor. Which is something to note for all you naysayers. Most of the best comedies of the last decade have been from films like this. So you better get used to more genitalia and fart joke humor coming your way and to a theater near you.

Personal Rating:

star rating 3.5 sta 5.jpg

review by Paul Katsaros

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