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The Campaign [Blu-Ray]

Jay Roach

The Campaign [Blu-Ray]
6
Considering the unexpected political leanings of The Other Guys and Will Ferrell's gift for embodying the absurdity of big, dumb, powerful American males, the crude satire of The Campaign is a logical step for the acerbic star and his constant partner in adolescent shenanigans, producer Adam McKay (who also co-wrote the story). There's nothing subtle about this pointed farce. Everyone involved in the race between two extreme caricatures running for a North Carolina congress seat is depicted as either evil and manipulative or opportunistic and weak-willed, and in both cases, morally bankrupt. Having run unopposed for years, Cam Brady (Ferrell) has his general likeability and talent for rhetoric put to the test when two CEOs fund and groom the socially awkward, but appropriately bred Marty Huggins (Zack Galifianakis) to run against him. With a shadowy image advisor (Dylan McDermott) completely restructuring his life and a team informing his every thought, Huggins's polished campaign strategy reveals Brady's complete lack of substance. Brady responds by playing to the lowest common denominator, stooping to ludicrous levels of hate-baiting slander and running ridiculous ads promoting his virility. The Campaign is almost as committed to its broad lampooning of the political process as it is to inspired crudities and a gleeful overall sense of absurdity. For every jab at the callous puppeteering of big money and the dull sheepishness of the voting pubic, there's a weirdly specific sexual reference, a taboo physical gag or a playfully askew camera angle. The loose nature of slinging muck makes it hard to hit the bull's-eye consistently, but when adding the extra filth ammunition of the film's extended cut, the percentage rises out of sheer bombardment. In addition to the absurd ad-libbing that made its way into the film, there's a robust selection of frequently hilarious outtakes in the "Line-O-Rama" feature, which effectively steals the thunder from the disc's gag reel. Some of the deleted scenes would have worked well in the film proper, but the movie's idealistic assertion that all people secretly crave a dose of truth is already stretched to its limit. (Warner)
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