With the 2012 presidential election just days away, many of us have grown tired of political debates, hyperbole and ads. But leave it to Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis and the director behind Austin Powers to make politics intriguing again.

Director Jay Roach’s The Campaign, stars Will Ferrell as Cam Brady, a North Carolina Congressman who’s preparing to run for a fifth term. Running unopposed, he expects campaign season to be a formality. However, when his campaign comes under fire following a sex scandal, a pair of corrupt businessmen, the Motch brothers (John Lithgow and Dan Aykroyd) decide to enlist town idiot Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis) to run against Cam in hopes that he will do their bidding. Marty is a naïve, sweet, optimistic small town guy and the Motch brothers see him as an easy pawn in a plan to turn Huggins’ small North Carolina town into a North American version of China’s sweatshops.

The CampaignWhen Cam first meets his seemingly hapless opponent at the courthouse, he’s not at all concerned about his chances of winning the election. However, with the help of slick campaign manager Tim Wattley (Dylan McDermott), Marty quickly becomes a viable candidate. Huggins genuine and straightforward approach to the issues offers quite a contrast to Brady, who throughout four terms in Washington has done very little for his district but enjoyed the perks. The fear of losing his cushy Washington job has Cam on the edge of madness. Guided by his campaign manager (Jason Sudekis) and aided by his conniving, status conscious wife (Katherine LaNasa), Brady comes up with increasingly wild schemes to try and ensure victory in the election—even babies and puppies aren’t safe, as words and body parts fly.

With Ferrell and Galifianakis in the lead roles, The Campaign could have easily been a painful exercise in adolescent humor. And while there is some of that to be had, the two men manage to skewer enough of what really goes on in American politics to make The Campaign genuinely funny on a voting age level. Both comics are rather hit-or-miss—often best enjoyed in small doses—but they play off each other very well here.

Some of best moments in The Campaign come from the supporting cast. Like most politicians, the clashing candidates are nothing without the support of their campaign managers. Dylan McDermott nearly steals the show with a memorable performance as Marty’s characterless coach. Jason Sudekis provides a few highlights as the oft-ignored campaign manager for Cam Brady.

The Campaign is a mix of mixed bag of side-splitting and adolescent humor, with a few painful flops mixed in. In the end, the laughs manage to outweigh the bombs in this rather even-handed political comedy. If you’re a fan of the stars and/or political satire, The Campaign is well worth a look.

Presented in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio, Warner Brothers 1080p transfer is the kind one would expect from a recent release. Color is vibrant and appropriate throughout, as is the level of fine detail. Skin tones look natural and black levels are deep and strong. There are no digital anomalies to speak of, making for a pleasant viewing experience.

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track serves the film well. The dialogue is placed front and center, along with some atmospherics. This isn’t a particularly dynamic mix, but the film really doesn’t require it. All dialogue and atmospherics are delivered clearly.

English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles are available.

The film arrives in a two disc set, a Blu-ray and Standard DVD, as well as a code to download a UV Digital Copy. The following special features are also included:

  • Extended Cut of the Film: Two versions of The Campaign are included: a 85-minute theatrical version and a 96-minute Extended Cut, which adds eleven minutes that don’t amount to much.
  • Deleted Scenes (15:44, HD) Nine scenes in all.
  • Line-O-Rama (4:23, HD) Ferrell and Galifianakis do some improv.
  • Gag Reel (3:31, HD) Typical gag reel.