The Campaign (film)
|Directed by||Jay Roach|
|Produced by||Jay Roach
|Screenplay by||Chris Henchy
|Story by||Adam McKay
with John Lithgow
and Brian Cox
|Music by||Theodore Shapiro|
|Editing by||Craig Alpert|
|Studio||Gary Sanchez Productions
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Running time||85 minutes
95 minutes (Extended cut)
The Campaign (formerly known as Dog Fight and Rivals) is a 2012 American political comedy film starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis as two Southerners vying for a seat in Congress. The screenplay for the film was written by writer Shawn Harwell, and by Chris Henchy, and directed by Jay Roach.
Democratic Congressman Cam Brady of North Carolina's 14th District is running for his fifth term unopposed. However his campaign is damaged by the revelation of his affair with one of his supporters, when Cam accidentally leaves a sexually explicit voice message on a local family's answering machine.
Corrupt businessmen, brothers Glen and Wade Motch, use this opportunity to convince Marty Huggins, tourism director for the town of Hammond and son of one of their associates, Raymond Huggins, to run against Cam on the Republican ticket, as part of a plan to profit from dealings with a Chinese company. Cam at first underestimates Marty and humiliates him by playing a video biography highlighting Marty's dimwitted nature. The Motch brothers then hire Tim Wattley to be Marty's campaign manager. Tim reinvents Marty as a successful entrepreneur and family man. Marty's popularity rises due to his effective campaign while Cam's is further damaged when he accidentally punches a baby when intending to hit Marty. Cam later runs a campaign portraying Marty as an Al Qaeda terrorist, and Marty exposes Cam as a fake Christian by asking him to recite the Lord's Prayer, which he fails to do. Cam attempts to restore his religious image by visiting a church of snake handlers, but he gets bitten by a snake. A video of the bite is leaked into the Internet and goes viral, increasing Cam's popularity.
When Cam's son plans to slander his competition for class president, Cam realizes he has set a bad example and visits Marty to make peace. A drunken Cam tells Marty that he originally became a politician to help people, citing that as class president he had a dangerous, rusty slide removed from the playground. After Cam leaves, Wattley convinces Marty to call the police and report Cam for driving while drunk. Cam is arrested and his campaign is again damaged. Marty later airs a TV ad of Cam's son addressing Marty as "dad". Cam gets revenge on Marty by seducing his neglected wife Mitzi and recording the act. The released sex tape humiliates the Huggins family and causes Cam's campaign manager, Mitch, to abandon him. Marty retaliates by shooting Cam in the leg on a hunting trip, increasing his own popularity.
As the election nears, Marty meets with the Motch brothers and learns of their plans to sell Hammond to their Chinese business partner and turn the town into a large series of factories. Marty realizes he has been used and rejects the Motch brothers' support. The Motch brothers offer Cam their support instead to preserve their plans. Marty meanwhile reconciles with his family.
On election day, Cam's victory appears to be certain until Marty comes forward and exposes the Motch brothers' intent and promises to preserve Hammond if elected. Cam still wins and remains congressman due to rigged voting machines owned by the Motch brothers. While Cam gloats, Marty shows his large scars to Cam and reveals that he looked up to Cam in school for getting rid of the dangerous slide. Realizing he has swayed from his true objectives as a politician, Cam withdraws from the election and Marty wins by default. Cam earns back Mitch's respect, and Marty later appoints him his chief of staff.
Six months later, Marty and Cam expose the Motch brothers' scandals and the brothers are called to appear before Congress. The Motch brothers point out that everything they did is legal under Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, but they are arrested for their association with Wattley, who is actually an international fugitive.
- Will Ferrell as Camden "Cam" Brady
- Zach Galifianakis as Martin "Marty" Huggins
- Jason Sudeikis as Mitch Wilson
- Katherine LaNasa as Rose Brady
- Dylan McDermott as Tim Wattley
- John Lithgow as Glen Motch
- Dan Aykroyd as Wade Motch
- Brian Cox as Raymond Huggins
- Sarah Baker as Mitzi Huggins
- Grant Goodman as Clay Huggins
- Kya Haywood as Dylan Huggins
- Karen Maruyama as Mrs. Yao
- Taryn Terrell as Janette
- Josh Lawson as Tripp Huggins
- P.J. Byrne as Rick
- Tzi Ma as Mr. Zheng
- Jack McBrayer as Mr. Mendenhall
- Kate Lang Johnson as Shana St. Croix
- Steve Tom as Rep. Ben Langley
- Seth Morris as Confession Husband
- Nick Smith as Courtroom Cameraman
- John Goodman as Scott Talley (Uncredited)
- Cameos as themselves
- Wolf Blitzer
- Piers Morgan
- Bill Maher
- Chris Matthews
- Dennis Miller
- Lawrence O'Donnell
- Joe Scarborough
- The Miz
- Mika Brzezinski
- Willie Geist
- Ed Schultz
- Bachman & Turner
- Rob Mariano
The film lampoons modern American elections and the influence of corporate money. It directly satirizes John Edwards as well as the Koch brothers with another pair of ultra-wealthy siblings: the Motch brothers. The film also alluded to the British Conservative Party's New Labour, New Danger campaign.
The Campaign received mixed to positive reviews from critics, with a rating of 66% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 179 reviews. The consensus stated: "Its crude brand of political satire isn't quite as smart or sharp as one might hope in an election year, but The Campaign manages to generate a sufficient number of laughs thanks to its well-matched leads." It holds a Metacritic score of 50/100, indicating mixed reviews. Richard Roeper awarded the film an A- and described it as "one of the best comedies of the year" where "the material is offensively funny, but the laughs are very consistent".
- "Theodore Shapiro to Score ‘The Campaign’". Fimmusicreporter.com. Retrieved 2012-11-27.
- "THE CAMPAIGN (15)". British Board of Film Classification. 2012-08-06. Retrieved 2013-01-05.
- "THE CAMPAIGN (15)". British Board of Film Classification. 2012-12-17. Retrieved 2013-01-05.
- "The Campaign (2012)". Box Office Mojo. 2012-11-22. Retrieved 2013-01-05.
- AP Photo / Victoria Will. "Will Ferrell comedy 'Dog Fight' looking for a few good extras ahead of New Orleans shoot". NOLA.com. Retrieved 2011-12-30.
- "Politics gets slapped around in 'Campaign'". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved August 12, 2012.
- "Koch brothers fire back at 'Campaign' star Zach Galifianakis for calling them 'creepy'". NY Daily News. Retrieved August 12, 2012.
- "Hilton’s demon eyes are perfect for Hollywood - Diary - News - London Evening Standard". Standard.co.uk. 2012-08-31. Retrieved 2012-11-27.
- 2 MOS (2011-10-24). "Jason Sudeikis Throws Himself Into 'Dog Fight' (Exclusive)". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2011-12-30.
- Gary Dretzka (October 30, 2012). "The DVD Wrapup: Campaign, Americano, This Waltz, Ruby Sparks, Upstairs Downstairs … More". Movie City News. Retrieved 2012-12-17.
- "The Campaign Movie Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved December 23, 2012.
- "The Campaign Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-11-27.
- "The Campaign Review". RichardRoeper.com. Retrieved 2012-11-27.
- Official website
- The Campaign at the Internet Movie Database
- The Campaign at Box Office Mojo
- The Campaign at Rotten Tomatoes
- The Campaign at Metacritic