In his just-up review of Jay Roach‘s The Campaign (Warner Bros., 8.10), Variety‘s Peter Debruge calls it “an all-around tight and polished package” that “vigorously swoops in to satirize how low things can go between a pair of rival Congressional candidates” — Will Ferrell‘s sleazy Cam Brady and Zach Galifianakis‘ idealistic Marty Huggins. Typically for an American political comedy, The Campaign (with a script by Chris Henchy and Shawn Harwell) “doesn’t go near the issues” and “steers clear of partisan concerns,” Debruge says.
And yet the villains of the piece (or “the guys to watch out for,” as Debruge puts it) are the Motch brothers (Dan Aykroyd, John Lithgow), “a pair of powerful millionaires looking to rig the election so they can ‘insource’ cheap Chinese labor to the district.” Obviously the Motches are based on David and Charles Koch, the right-wing scumbag billionaires who are funding the Tea Party and any anti-Obama candidate who will step up to the plate. How can a film that portrays these guys in some kind of satirically negative light be regarded as taking a generic take-no-sides position? How are you not partisan if you think the Koch brothers are bad news?