Published August 30. 2012 4:00AM
I went into this comedy expecting to giggle at Will Ferrell, but I ended up being enchanted by Zach Galifianakis. His portrayal of Marty Huggins, a mensch who gets a rude awakening when he runs for political office, was much more three-dimensional than Ferrell's turn as his incumbent rival. Galifianakis' naive, good-hearted Huggins is just plain likeable. (I kept expecting the effeminate Marty - who's married with kids - to bust out of the closet, but the movie sidesteps that.) As you'd expect from a Ferrell comedy guided by "Austin Powers"/"Meet the Parents" director Jay Roach, "The Campaign" revels in some shock comedy, whose success tends to be hit-and-miss. Hit-and-miss, too, are the potshots the film takes at politics. Some (a couple of potential attack TV ads, a debate turned physical smackdown) are very funny; others are less so. Bottom line, for Ferrell fans: Not as good as "Talladega Nights," not as bad as "Land of the Lost."
- KRISTINA DORSEY