Bottom Line: This nasty, satirical, over-the-top and goofballish take on two candidates duking it out for congressional supremacy works diligently to land on the positive side of the Will Ferrell hit-or-miss balance beam. Ferrell delivers an entertaining silver medal performance with his southern-rooted, Ricky Bobby/Ron Burgandy/President Bush hybrid – but high praise and the gold go to Galifianakis for sticking the landing. He’s a clueless candidate, but in all the right ways – and it’s the birth of this battle between the ballot box dimwits that make the first half of the movie worth the price of admission alone. THE CAMPAIGN does trip up a bit – an inconsistency penalty here, a not-quite-as-funny-as-it-was-in-the-beginning foot fault there – but by this time it’s built up such a solid constituency of goodwill that these minor flaws are easy to overlook. Want to see a movie this weekend? This CAMPAIGN has my vote!
Starring: Will Ferrell, Zack Galifianakis, Jason Sudeikis, Dylan McDermott, John Lithgow, Brian Cox and Dan Aykroyd
Directed by: Jay Roach (AUSTIN POWERS I-III, MEET THE PARENTS and DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS)
Running time: 85 minutes
Story: When long-term congressman Cam Brady commits a major public gaffe before an upcoming election, a pair of ultra-wealthy CEOs plot to put up a rival candidate and gain influence over their North Carolina district. Their man: naïve Marty Huggins, director of the local Tourism Center. At first, Marty appears to be the unlikeliest possible choice but, with the help of his new benefactors' support, a cutthroat campaign manager and his family's political connections, he soon becomes a contender who gives the charismatic Cam plenty to worry about. As Election Day closes in, the two are locked in a dead heat, with insults quickly escalating to injury until all they care about is burying each other. (Warner Bros. Pictures)