Now Playing: No Winners in This ‘Campaign’

How many flops will it take for studios and filmmakers to realize that Will Ferrell’s star has faded? I used to love the guy, but how many times can he play the same character? Ferrell has proven that he’s capable of acting (see ‘Stranger Than Fiction‘), but why must he routinely fall back on playing men who are unbelievably and absurdly stupid? Just as I suspected, in ‘The Campaign’, Ferrell does his George Bush impression that we’ve all seen a billion times via ‘SNL’, alongside Zach Galifianakis, who has also made a living out of the same stupid schtick. If you thought the 18+ month elongated Presidential campaign seems to drag on forever, these 85 minutes feel even longer.

Ferrell plays a Senator up for re-election who has somehow never gone head-to-head with an actual opponent. Dan Aykroyd and John Lithgow are a brotherly duo with bottomless pockets (basically, the Koch brothers) who wish to “buy” the campaign with a puppet candidate so that they can sell the district to China, and that’s where Galifianakis comes into play. No joke, that’s the best plot that the combined writers of ‘Eastbound & Down‘, ‘Land of the Lost‘ and ‘The Other Guys‘ could come up with – selling a district to China.

If you’ve seen the trailers and TV spots for ‘The Campaign’, you’ve seen the best parts of the movie. In the rest of it, Ferrell and Galifianakis ramble through unfunny improvised lines. The only consistently amusing role comes from Dylan McDermott. Ferrell, Galifianakis, Aykroyd and Lithgow are utterly wasted.

I’m almost to the point where I’m ready to throw up my arms and exclaim, “I’m done!” I won’t ever expect anything solid from these guys again. That’s exactly what happened with Adam Sandler. (When I finally get around to see it, ‘Casa De Mi Padre‘ will be the deciding factor for Ferrell’s future in my eyes.)

Unless you’re one of those rare folks who doesn’t mind cheap hacks rehashing old, stale material time and time again, vote “No” in this ‘Campaign’.

Rating: ★½☆☆☆

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