Wednesday, August 22, 2012

This picture originally appeared in VanityFair.com
It’s a rare thing nowadays that a Hollywood movie can come up with something that’s reasonably hilarious. Not hilarious in only-Americans-can-get-it kindof humor but more of the ridiculously funny and the movie, The Campaign, is one of the rare new ones that fall into the second category. What's not so new however is the standard fare of raunchy humor that's so prevalent in comedy movies nowadays.

The movie covers the familiar ground of politics and election and starts out with congressman Cam Brady (Will Ferrell), a typical politician doing the usual political things and spouting his usual political lines, so much so he got used to the perks that comes with his position (i.e. the lack of any accountability) he did something unthinkable that could threaten to derail his (unchallenged) fifth term campaign for the North Carolina seat. Enter the evil rich brothers, Glenn (John Lithgow) and Wade Motch (Dan Aykroyd), thinking about buying the whole lot, sell it to a Chinese corporation, and profit from that business. They decide it was high time Brady was challenged by a man of their own choosing, someone they can easily control, someone they found in a mild-mannered and naïve local tourist guide, Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis).

Of course Marty would have to be cleaned up and repackaged into a semblance of normalcy in order for people to see him as an viable opponent. What follows are a series of gag situations that serve to show how political campaigns can quickly degenerate into a series of mud slinging, name tarnishing, and what-have-yous to get people's attention (those things can get really low). Some of these jokes were genuinely funny but a lot of those got me cringing in my seat. The subject of false piety was naturally exploited too as a lot of politicians would even engage in a show of faith to court the much needed votes. Since I'm somewhat familiar with the social and political landscape of America, what I found funnier is the fact that the mainstream media (MSM) would cover both parties running for the same position in a thoughtful, honest, and balanced way. Like that would happen. The story also got a lot of criticisms online for being thin and forgettable and while I agree with them, after a while though I realized why: the story ran like an 80s comedy movie injected and updated with the boorish humor of Ferell and Galifianakis combined. While all the actors stepped up to the plate letting each other's brand of humor bounce off each other, the story can only take them far before it starts to slow down and settle on a nice but cliché ending where the bad guys gets what's coming to them and everybody gets along. Factoring everything in I'd say it's still only a movie where you can get your laugh's worth watching twice at the most before it loses steam.

My gratitude to the fine people of Warner Bros. Philippines and Geekmatic for the invitation to the advanced screening held at the Glorietta 4 Cinema last night.

* ‘The Campaign’ Set To Hit Theaters: Five Things To Know if you enjoyed this movie. 
** Check out also the review in Plugged In Online for more insightful reactions to this movie.

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