Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 37 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 
 
 

 

 

[Valid RSS]

click to go to advertisers website
Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 10 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 32
Uneven Campaign a fitfully funny satire
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
  next story
Uneven Campaign a fitfully funny satire

by Sara Michelle Fetters - SGN A&E Writer

THE CAMPAIGN
Opens August 10


Democratic North Carolina Congressman Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) is running for his sixth term in office. It's smooth sailing until an embarrassing gaffe involving a salacious voicemail is suddenly made public, making the big money Moch brothers Glenn (John Lithgow) and Wade (Dan Aykroyd) nervous about keeping him in office. They've tagged local tourism guide Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis), son of famed Republican power broker Raymond Huggins (Brian Cox), to be Brady's opponent. A political neophyte without a single original (let alone coherent) idea, he's the ideal puppet to exploit for the brothers' own greedy ends.

First things first: The Campaign is not the second coming of Bulworth or The Candidate. Even though the scenario is ripe with potential, and even though the things writers Shawn Harwell and Chris Henchy (two of the men behind HBO's series Eastbound and Down) satirize here are decidedly of the current zeitgeist, the teeth happily being showcased aren't nearly as sharp or as eviscerating as I'd like them to be. Sure, items like the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling are obviously ridiculed, and of course the Moch brothers are nothing more than the Koch brothers in thin disguise, overall the jabs and uppercuts are pretty basic - meaning the film as a whole doesn't quite have the impact it potentially might have had.

But hiring Jay Roach, fresh off the HBO movies Rebound and Game Change, was a stroke of genius on the part of Ferrell and his producing partner (and usual director) Adam McKay. He's so familiar with this world, so enmeshed within its seedy, money-driven duplicitous confines, he makes this satire zing with far more electricity than it rightfully should. Watching Brady and Huggins duke it out can be a giggly joy, and while the film sheds less light than it should on the modern political process, it hits the mark often enough.

Ferrell could do this shtick in his sleep. After roughly a decade of brilliantly sending up George W. Bush and inhabiting another political schmuck (colored, in no small part, after a certain former Democratic candidate for President who found himself in the news for a seedy affair and campaign finance wrongdoings) so effortlessly, this isn't a great surprise. That he manages to find some depth within this oleaginous cretin somewhat is, however, and on more than one occasion I was a little surprised just how open and honest Ferrell was allowing small facets of his performance to be.

Galifianakis in some ways has the harder job. Not only does he have to be the Republican candidate, he has to become one who we believe could begin to lose his soul and yet find it again in a way that feels honest, true, and in full embrace of the American spirit of bipartisan collegiality that has been in short supply these past few years. That he mostly does so while also still engaging in many of the eccentric ticks and tricks that have littered the majority of his performances, from The Hangover to Due Date to even It's Kind of a Funny Story, I found hugely shocking, making his rise to a fully functioning man of the people all the more rousing because of it.

There are some plum supporting parts for the likes of Jason Sudeikis, Dylan McDermott, Katherine LaNasa, and Sarah Baker, and it goes without saying that Lithgow and Aykroyd are having a blast channeling Randolph and Mortimer Duke from the latter's 1983 classic Trading Places. Roach handles it all with a confident deftness, knowing when to pull back, when to slap the face, and when to throw caution to the wind and let his characters let out a throaty roar.

But it isn't enough, at least not for me, and I'd have loved it if the script had been more willing to wallow in that mud with more gusto and enthusiasm, potentially opening up Mid-American eyes to how easily their opinions are manipulated and how big money convinces them, time and again, to vote against their own interests. At the same time, as a corporate-financed satire of the political staging area, The Campaign is smarter and more entertaining than I anticipated - making casting a vote at the box office to see it a proposition I can happily endorse.

Tell a friend:

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!

She's a star!
------------------------------
Macklemore brings the love
------------------------------
The making of Marina: Starlet reveals her slutty second self and how Britney Spears inspired her
------------------------------
Lavender Magic ...Sequim!
------------------------------
Drive on over to see Miss Daisy
------------------------------
These 'kittens' ain't so innocent
------------------------------
Pulitzer-winning play has a timeless message
------------------------------
Trippin' back to Seattle
------------------------------

------------------------------
Huge Support for Chick-fil-A Day
------------------------------
A Dyke About Town: Ladysmith Black Mambazo amazing at ZooTunes
------------------------------
Latest 'Bourne' film a familiar legacy
------------------------------
Ai Weiwei documentary nothing to be sorry about
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Q-Scopes by Jack Fertig
------------------------------

------------------------------
Paula Fuga: Taking Hawaiian music to the next level
------------------------------
Northwest News
------------------------------
Letters
------------------------------
Mika's coming-out surprises no one
------------------------------
Uneven Campaign a fitfully funny satire
------------------------------
One good Turandot
------------------------------
First-ever Watershed Festival was a real foot-stomper
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog
 

gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml

Seattle Gay News - SGN
1605 12 Ave., Ste. 31
Seattle, WA 98122

Phone 206-324-4297
Fax 206-322-7188

email: sgn2@sgn.org
website suggestions: web@sgn.org

copyright Seattle Gay News - DigitalTeamWorks 2011

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News