Jay Roach’s political comedy The Campaign couldn’t have hit Blu-Ray at a better time, with the presidential election being one of the most talked about things around the country. Unfortunately for Roach his film is far from something worthy of debate as Zach Galifianakis and Will Ferrell hand in two of their worst performances in recent memory. The Campaign is a mostly unfunny experience that rings in a few occasionally funny jokes here and there, but mostly settles for over-the-top shenanigans that might work in congress, but not in this particular film.
Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) and Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis) go to war as two CEOs use their election campaign as an opportunity to further their greed. They put the surefire Brady up against the owner of the local tourism business Huggins. As the two heat up the race they soon lose track of their original goals for running and why they got into politics in the first place.
Director Jay Roach films this R-rated political comedy with an obvious laugh at our country’s current affairs and just how silly all of it can be. I give him credit for recreating the truth, despite how far out he really goes with some of the comedy, but at the same time I don’t credit him for making a funny movie or something worthy of star Will Ferrell or even Zach Galifianakis.
The two men have both been in much funnier things, with Ferrell stretching his chops in the recently released Spanish western Casa de mi Padre and Galifianakis proving his comedic range in the hilarious HBO show Bored to Death.
The Campaign is hollow and rarely funny, but it does give Jason Sudeikis room to stretch his acting ability with some of the best comedy actors working in the field. It’s too bad that his role is essentially wasted as a backdrop for everything Ferrell’s character says or does, because Sudeikis seems eager to take the stage whenever possible.
Here Roach takes both men and embraces some of their more known roles, like Ferrell’s obnoxiously smooth Ron Burgundy from Anchorman and Galifianakis’ usual man-child role from the Hangover films. The two channel their past successes for The Campaign and it almost gets to be unbearable to watch. There’s nothing funny or clever about this film at all. It’s just another quick film that capitalizes on a hot topic in America, while helping both men earn a respectable-sized paycheck to keep them busy until their next films.
The Campaign comes to Blu-Ray with a stable 1080p video transfer that is filled with natural color and generally strong detail. Comedies tend to pop on Blu-Ray because of the attention to materials such as clothes, setting and up-close facial detail. Everything draws itself one step closer to you as a viewer and The Campaign is right on par with most studio-funded comedies.
WB’s 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is a front-loaded and clean affair. Dialogue is the main focus here and none of it is hard to hear at any given moment. Everything is focused on the front and rarely does the film express itself on the back channels. You can’t really ask for much more than that for this specific film.
Here’s a list of bonus content found on the disc:
- Extended Cut (in addition to the original theatrical version)
- Deleted Scenes (HD)
- Line-O-Rama (HD)
- Gag Reel (HD)
- DVD Copy
- UltraViolet Digital Copy
The Campaign packs too little of a punch to really warrant a viewing. Folks looking for a good poke at politics might find this one to be a worthwhile rental, but those hoping to find another memorable Ferrell or Galifianakis film will want to stay clear of this one. Jay Roach does little to put his stamp on the film and it makes perfect sense, because the film was likely relatively easy to make and I’m sure it will open the doors for him to make even more studio-friendly comedies.
The Blu-Ray package is a bit on the light side, but it does look and sound great. The extended cut adds an additional 11 minutes of footage that doesn’t change the film’s quality or make it worthy of seeing once more.
Wait for this one to hit cable if you really have to see it before the next presidential election. Chances are by then Ferrell and Galifianakis will have already starred in a dozen better films that you’ll want to snatch up long before giving this one two hours of your life.
Jay Roach's The Campaign can be funny at times, but it's mostly an exercise of patience as two usually funny men scrape the bottom of the barrel for some truly unfunny jokes. Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis have both been in much better films.