According to IMDB, the current top three movies are: 3) The Godfather: Part II; 2) The Godfather; and 1) The Shawshank Redemption. Because these are presently considered the three greatest movies ever, we can safely assume that each contains deep themes, intense symbolism, and impressive character development. But, this also makes them stagnant and unoriginal. When considering what makes a movie “great,” we must look to a film that utterly altered the landscape of cinema ; there is only one movie that is universally recognized by critics as the greatest story ever told (even though it largely lacks any sense of a plot and is riddled with jokes concerning genitalia, alcohol, and sex). This movie, of course, is Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.
Because of the unparalleled quality and beauty of Anchorman, it is impossible to hold all films to its demanding standards. This being said, all Will Ferrell films must be judged against his greatest work. Although Ferrell’s subsequent films will never live up to the insurmountable brilliance of his crowning achievement, I continue to desperately watch his movies, hoping beyond hope for a piece that is comparable in hilarity and vulgarity. Ferrell’s latest effort, The Campaign, is a solid piece. However, through incorporating characters that ultimately choose the moral high road over their own political gain, The Campaign falls short of my depraved expectations.
In a nutshell, The Campaign weaves the intricate tale of two crooked CEOs that want to essentially buy their own candidate so that they themselves can take advantage of the smallCarolina district for their own greedy intentions. To achieve this, they must find a worthy opponent to defeat Cam Brady (Ferrell), the current, uncontested, and experienced Congressman of the district. The CEOs choose Marty Huggins (Galifinakis), whose complete lack of experience and uncanny resemblance to the Travelocity Gnome makes for an uphill battle, as Brady is well-versed in the questionable tactics employed on the political campaign trail. What follows is a tit-for-tat battle involving infidelity, baby-punching, and “seductively approved” endorsements (strangely enough, these competitive strategies do not seem that far removed from some of the real-life campaigns presently taking place…well, minus the baby punching).
While Ferrell and Galifinakis are an entertaining duo, overall, The Campaign really brings nothing new to the table. Will Ferrell gets naked, does his George Bush voice, and acts like a mentally-impaired, horny teenager, while Zach Galifinakis acts awkward for an hour and a half. Although some moments are certainly worthwhile (for instance, Brady endorses commercials insinuating that his opponent is clearly a secret member of the Taliban, and this is proven by Huggins’ mustache). Regardless – I just have to come out and say it – The Campaign is merely another formulaic, typical comedy that tries too hard to live up to the glory days of Will Ferrell. It’s funny. But it’s not funny enough that I’m not longing to have that $8.50 back in my pocket. Alas, Anchorman will continue its reign of film supremacy.