(Perverted political satire)
Political satire can be hilarious...if done correctly. Late night TV hosts and stand-up comedians cash in on the absurdity of the political system and its participants.
“The Campaign" attempts to cash in on the genre, but unfortunately aims below the belt too often and relies on the F-bomb to carry it through to its ridiculous conclusion.
Will Ferrell plays incumbent Congressman Cam Brady, a foul-mouthed, obnoxious, lustful, prejudiced, egocentric four-term politician from North Carolina who is challenged by Marty Huggins, a simple-minded small town tour director (Zach Galifinakis).
The best satire offers a bit of subtlety, but the writers, director and actors choose to play this one way over the top, throwing in as many four letter words, bathroom humor and prurient sex as possible. Ferrell is his usual obnoxious self, playing a character that is so vile and vulgar that you wonder how he lasted four terms.
Huggins is manipulated by Motches brothers (Dan Aykroyd and John Lithgow), who hire a thug (Dylan McDermott) to reinvent Huggins and his family and gain political influence and power, with disastrous results.
The campaign quickly turns dirty and the movie turns filthy, as Brady puts the moves on Huggins’ wife, gets caught in a series of salacious activities and makes Huggins look like a fool, while he gets caught with his pants down more than once. It comes down to the "win at all costs" method of politics.
Brady delivers an offensive version of the Lord's Prayer, punches a baby (I must admit, I chuckled at that scene), fornicates, cheats, lies and does everything possible to beat Huggins.
It all comes down to election night, where both candidates gather their supporters in one room (that would never happen), and we find out who wins and what happens after that...which is totally unrealistic, as is most of this movie.
Rated a big R, with excessive profanity, violence, prurient sex and adults behaving badly.