While the jokes in The Campaign play way too broadly to exactly hold a mirror up to society, it’s not hard to see the underlying immutable truth behind the ruthless methodology in American politics and all the shady backroom shenanigans that go with it. The opening repartee between Ferrell and his campaign manager pretty much sums it all up: “What’s it all about?” “America, Jesus, freedom.” “What does that mean?” “Shit, I don’t know, but people sure love it when I say it.”
The HD picture is consistently excellent throughout. Colors are bright and vivid inside and out, and skintones are even and natural looking. Detail is sharp and crisp with little or no soft focus or image blur. Despite the movie’s emphasis on sight gags and bawdy humor, this is still a primarily dialogue-driven film, and the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 holds court exceedingly well in the center-channel speaker. Dialogue is clear and sharp and never once gets overpowered by the surrounds, even when the characters are whispering. But when it’s time to kick ass, the surrounds strut their stuff with admirable punch and fervor.
The extended cut boasts “the race that was too raunchy for theaters” but runs only 11 minutes longer. Extras include a montage of alternate improvised dialogue called Line-O-Rama, a gag reel, and a collection of deleted scenes that apparently weren’t good enough for the extended cut. A bonus disc offers a DVD and Digital Copy for download.
The Campaign is entertaining and funny but unfortunately plays it safe by relying too much on cheap laughs rather than going for the jugular in making a truly scathing satirical statement of how the game of politics is played in this country.
Studio: Warner Bros., 2012
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio Format: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Length: 85 mins.
MPAA Rating: R
Director: Jay Roach
Starring: Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis, Jason Sudeikis