x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

The Campaign

Who could play an incumbent, bumbling governor better than the former Saturday Night Live star Will Ferrell?

Director: Jay Roach
Starring: Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, Jason Sudeikis
***

Who could play an incumbent, bumbling governor better than the former Saturday Night Live star Will Ferrell? Having taken his George W Bush persona on tour following the last US election, and now with another looming, Ferrell's dry wit would seem perfectly suited to Jay Roach's affable comedy, which sends up US politics in all its ugly glory.

The Campaign is exactly what its title suggests: a sometimes edgy, mostly soft comedy about the business of running for office. Ferrell is Cam Brady: a five-time winner of a seat so safe, he merely signs off on the necessary paperwork and carries on. Until, that is, the fey Marty Huggins (Galifianakis) shows up, under the watchful eye of the chief spin doctor Tim Wattley (Dylan McDermott, on top form).

When it's solely concerned with charting Brady's train wreck of a campaign and Huggins is benefiting from it, the film is a hoot - a laugh-out-loud comedy that's far superior to Roach's previous efforts (save, perhaps, his initial outing with Austin Powers). Less satisfying is Brady's epiphany late in the piece, when matters become mawkish. Still, for a comment on today's political world - where everything is caught on camera - it's entertaining, light-hearted and nicely played by a great comedic cast.