THESE DAYS, if I see an ad for a movie with Will Ferrell and/or Zach Galifianakis, I get an initial feeling of excitement, then an almost-as-sudden sense of dread: I love both of those dudes, but I'm well aware that even when they happily churn out whatever unfunny crap they want, folks will still line up to hand over their dollars. Thankfully, their newest effort, The Campaign, isn't totally phoned in. In fact, it's really goddamn funny.
Ferrell stars as Cam Brady, a four-term Congressman from North Carolina who is running unopposed for reelection—even when he accidentally leaves a wholesome family a dirty voicemail about rimjobs, he's got no fear of losing. Enter Marty Huggins (Galifianakis), the local director of tourism who gets backed by an evil corporation in order to take Brady's seat. So Brady punctuates his stump speeches with "Support our troops!" like he's got Patriotism Tourette's, Huggins tries to shake his childhood nickname of "Tickleshits," and the two are perfectly matched in their race to the dank, soggy bottom of American political strategery.
And though it pains me, I will politely refrain from telling you much more about where the story goes, because the jaw-droppingly horrible twists and turns are what make The Campaign so fun. But I will say this—you know that part in the trailer where Will Ferrell punches a baby? He punches something way worse than that later in the movie. Think of something worse to punch than a baby!
Ferrell squints and slurs just like he did during his Dubya-era SNL run, and Galifianakis wears weird sweaters and a fanny pack, just like we like him, and while these well-worn versions of themselves are nothing revolutionary, they still deliver one of the crudest, funniest big budget comedies I've seen in ages. This movie will make Tickleshits of us all.