The Campaign

August 12, 2012 1 Comment

Rating:  8/10 (and no one paid me to say that)

“WINNING ISN’T EVERYTHING, IT’S THE ONLY THING”   As an Olympic quote, this probably works quite well.  As a political statement???? Are we doomed?

Well, director Jay Roach (Austin Powers, Recount) answers with  an edgy, provocative, no-holds barred, hilarious (if we don’t cry) cautionary tale to our own upcoming presidential election 2012.  Fate of the world, are you listening?

The Candidate was presented in trailerville as a slapsticky one joke (politicians are dumb) skit concept.  It is so much more.  Funnymen  Will Ferrell (candidate Cam Brady) and Zach Galifianakis (Marty Huggins) go at it  with no holds barred in a film that would be soooooo over the top if our own real statesmen hadn’t found new ways to lower the bar.  Punch a baby?  (“no one asked if my hand hurts”).  Sexual favors? Thank you very much.  Sell Sell Sell?? Everything?! Outsourcing trumped by insourcing?? (if you lower the standards enough you can exploit in your own backyard). Roach is a master at weaving clever sendups of our most pathetic political moments (John Edwards and Dick Cheney get equal time).  Spinning moves from art to weapon as our two candidates make war on each other and us.  This is a movie, so we do get time to laugh and breathe and there is an ending that suggests some kind of redemption. Maybe.  There is a repetitive theme of honesty, presented over the top funny, but there nonetheless.

Pugs are Chinese dogs.  Right?  Why DO you hate America?  Classic political satire in a time that is no longer subtle, but satisfyingly sublime.  And that’s the TRUTH!!!!!!!!  This is a must see movie.  See you at the polls.     Jolyn Wagner

Must See Movie of the Week
One Comment to “The Campaign”
  1. Dave Lundin says:

    I thought “The Candidate” was a riot, while making some serious points about how insane politics can get in it’s purposeful lying and pandering and how big money (with the help of the Supreme Court) can completely subvert democracy. But then there is the basically good-natured human spirit (according to this film) to contend with – which side wins out? This film takes both lying and honesty to new heights and depths with very funny results, I thought. Look for the scene when Marty Huggins has his family confess to any dark secrets they may have that could be politically exploited – farm animals are involved. And no matter what the Bible literally says or how much you need the acceptance of religious zealots, think twice when rattlesnakes are involved. I liked this film more for it’s laughs than its political points, but both worked for me, although I think the political issues need some more very serious addressing, Michael Moore-style, as democracy is at risk on many levels. I also thought it got a little easy and soft at the end, which was satisfying but a little facile and empty. I give it a 7 out of 10.

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