Cam­paign is a lit­tle off pitch

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Movies - LEIGH PAATSCH

HERE’S the thing with The Cam­paign.

Will Fer­rell and Zach Gal­i­fi­anakis are the best in the com­edy busi­ness at mak­ing the wrong seem right.

But in go­ing head- to- head in the same movie, these two wizards of the warped go mighty close to can­celling out each other’s magic tal­ents.

Make no mis­take, The Cam­paign still gets the job done on the strength of its bitsy broad­sides at the sur­real phoni­ness of Amer­i­can elec­tion­eer­ing.

Just bear in mind that your en­dur­ing good­will to­wards Fer­rell and Gal­i­fi­anakis will of­ten over­ride an inkling that some sec­tions of The Cam­paign are not quite up to scratch.

The main pitch of The Cam­paign is easy to con­nect with.

Fer­rell plays Cam Brady, a long- term rep­re­sen­ta­tive of his North Carolina dis­trict who has be­come used to get­ting elected un­op­posed.

Brady is a typ­i­cal Fer­rell man- child-mon­ster: al­ways up to no good, down with the ladies, and drop- dead obliv­i­ous to all re­spon­si­bil­ity of his post.

Dur­ing the run for of­fice de­picted in the pic­ture, Brady’s ap­proval rat­ing fol­lows a roller­coaster tra­jec­tory as he be­comes em­broiled in a sex tape scan­dal, is bit­ten by a python, for­gets most of the Lord’s Prayer and in­ad­ver­tently punches an in­fant.

Gal­i­fi­anakis plays the op­pos­ing can­di­date Marty Hug­gins, a sur­prise road­block to Brady’s reg­u­lar route to Wash­ing­ton.

Hug­gins is a typ­i­cal Gal­i­fi­anakis bearded weirdo, al­beit more stri­dently ef­fem­i­nate than we have seen be­fore. It is a one- note char­ac­ter that drifts in and out of tune with what the movie is sup­posed to be about.

With Hug­gins, a good- hearted dummy, forced to fight dirty to beat Brady, a badly­be­haved dummy, The Cam­paign some­times fan­cies its chances as a mawk­ish moral­ity tale.

The chor­tles go on hold when­ever this mis­guided in­cli­na­tion kicks in.

For a ba­sic po­lit­i­cal com­edy, The Cam­paign is funny.

We all know the cor­ri­dors of power are paced by peo­ple wear­ing big fat clown shoes. So we are ready and primed to vote one for laugh­ter from the get- go.

How­ever, for a ba­sic po­lit­i­cal com­edy star­ring two of the most in­di­vid­ual voices in movie hu­mour to­day, The Cam­paign is not quite as funny as it could have been. No, make that should have been.

SHAKE ON IT: Zach Gal­i­fi­anakis ( left) as Marty Hug­gins and Will Fer­rell as Cam Brady hit the cam­paign trail.

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