…The Campaign comes to campus
Ah, campaign season. That time from September to November that everyone holds so dear in their hearts. Watching The Campaign certainly made it feel like election season didn’t stop after Obama’s re-election. In fact, it brought me back to the beginning of this school year when the election mudslinging was in full swing. Zach Galifinakis stars in this movie and is virtually unrecognizable: shown with a new voice, adopted since The Hangover. Will Ferrell co-stars with Galifinakis, and if you’re looking for his best work, choose a different film.
The movie opens up with the classic political sex scandal. Like true politics, it’s played off as one of a thousand inappropriate calls that Ferrell has made as congressman. And it wouldn’t be politics if he didn’t blame the family that he accidentally called.
Of course, it satires other common themes present in politics. The most hilarious being that the candidates run on exaggerated platforms based on America, Freedom and “The Greatest American Who Ever Lived—Jesus Christ.”
This went hand in hand with candidates pandering to the people with lines like “Schools is this nation’s backbone.” It’s fitting, really, because if you’ve ever watched an American politician speak at a rally, the group they are speaking to is almost always “the most important group in this country.”
Some things that were entertaining were seeing what “Kenneth the Page” from 30 Rock, would be like as a father. The families in this movie had a creepy-small-town calm that became more awkward and comical when all their dirty laundry was revealed. The pundits added to the movie as well. Appearances by Chris Matthews, Wolf Blitzer, and Bill Maher made the film seem more realistic. There was also a snake ritual that was amusing to watch.
Overall, I went into this movie thinking that it would be too close to call, but it had a healthy amount of satire, which could get some people thinking about what politicians can say/do and still get reelected. Hell, they even implied that the winner of the election rigged the vote because of a voting machine. This was hilarious because that could have easily happened this election with the “improperly calibrated” voting machines that registered votes for Obama as votes for Romney.
The movie also had its share of less than outstanding qualities. It was rife with rape jokes with some homophobic comments thrown in. It had a substantial amount of racism—an Asian maid who was paid to talk like a stereotypical black woman in order to remind her boss of “the good old days.”
Later, a process server takes on a stereotypical Hispanic accent to get a pair of wealthy businessmen to open their door. In addition, much like the Romney campaign, there was not a person of color in any substantial role in the movie, and women were virtually nonexistent.
In tune with this year’s election, I wanted it to be over about halfway through. It has decent satirical value, but awkward racism, homophobia, rape jokes and poor execution earn this movie two out of five stars.