Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Campaign

The Campaign – 85min – R

What better time to have a movie about a political race than right now? Unfortunately people are so tired of the political back and forth that seeing a move that lampoons this real life event just does not get enough steam. Sure, there are some truly funny parts but the overall tone of the movie is so over the top and contrived that it loses something in its delivery. This movie barely gets yellow light vote from me. It needs to have a recall election of the story and just focus on the things that make it funny.

Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) is a senator and has been for a while because he runs unopposed. His campaign manager, Mitch (Jason Sudeikis), has an easy time every election year -- just keep Cam out of trouble. Two evil CEOs known as “The Motch Brothers,” Glenn and Wade (John Lithgow and Dan Aykroyd) , see an opportunity to bring their sweat shop from overseas and place it in Cam’s district to save shipping cost. They set up a gullible Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis) to run against him. The Motch brothers hope to put a puppet in power to give them access to DC regulators. They hire Tim Wattley (Dylan McDermott) to run Marty’s campaign. The race is on and no trick is too dirty.

My biggest problem with this movie is that there are no likeable main characters. The only one that I like is Mitch and he is only a side character. Cam is a dirt bag and embraces it. Marty is way over the top in his oddities and I found him annoying. The Motch brothers are slimy and completely despicable. I know this is a comedy that thrives on being overly absurd in its lampooning of the political process but there was no one to feel for.

Jay Roach is an interesting case study, his comedies are good the first go around, his stories get diminishing returns the more sequels that he does. Austin Powers was good, but the sequels were more of the same and did not grow the story any. Meet the parents is another example of how a great first movie does well and the second one was less impressive and lets not talk about the third one. This time his first go at this story was lacking more in the writing than the execution of the film.

I have to say that a little part of my soul dies every time I laugh at the baby getting punched. I just can’t help myself. it was a very funny bit and an excellent call back to that same baby with a shiner toward the end of the movie. They also did a very sloppy job of editing the film. There were continuity errors in many scenes. It was a mess of shots kind of thrown together. For instance they had a character with their hand up waving in the close up and then the long shot their hands down. The dialog indicated that no time had passed. Sloppy

Warring Spoilers!!!!!!! Only members of the election staff are allowed past this link. !!!!!!

Even in a comedy, the plans of the bad guys need to make sense. The Motch brothers are completely absurd in their plan. They seem to forget that they really only have to apply pressure on Cam and they can get what they want. If the came in and supported him from the start he would have been in their pocket and everything would have been fine.

Another note on the poor editing was the nipple slip scene. Guys, if you are going to have a partially bare nipple in the shot, realize it’s going to be the focus of the audience. In the first part of the scene it was barely showing, and then it would slip lower, then higher and lower with each edit. I was focused on it, err Distracted, I mean distracted by it, really the edits were that distracting, /Blush……/Whistle

Cam giving up his seat to Marty was completely out of character. He did not have enough time to develop a soul to actually truly warrant the selfless act. I would have him win, keep the seat and then take on the Marty honesty shtick and hire him on as the chief of staff. Motch brothers get screwed, people have a sappy feel-good ending and the characters stay true to their nature.

What is your favorite political move?


Anonymous said...

I think the nipple was part of the movie. At the end of the scene you see can standing next to her and a picture is taken. I was waiting for the picture to be shown later in the movie. But it never surfaced.

Fat Samurai said...

You are right it was deliberate. I like your point of them missing a great opportunity for a call back later in the film. perhaps have that picture show up in a scandal. or have that same actress come back at the end to ...um reprise her role.