All is supposedly fair in politics, we're told in the opening scene of The Campaign. "War has rules, mud wrestling has rules, politics has no rules," is the first quote to appear on screen, as Will Ferell and Zach Galifianakis head off to the polls.
Perhaps timed ironically with the current U.S. presidential elections, there is much about the satire and comedy of The Campaign that stands out.
It may have been the slogan of Ferell's character, championing congressman Cam Brady: "America, Jesus, freedom", or the less than subtle jabs the comedic duo take towards each other throughout the film, but when it comes to the political races, it would seem both characters would stoop to win.
Set in the Northern Carolina suburb of Hammond, Cam Brady (played by Ferell), runs undefeated for four consecutive terms - simply because there would appear to be no one to campaign against him.
That is, until billionaire businessmen, The Moch brothers (played by Dan Akroyd and John Lithgow) decide it is time to elect another candidate.
From the beginning, the brother's influence in picking a new man to run for office is apparent. "When you have the money, nothing is unpredictable in American politics," the two say on business to a Chinese factory owner, whose plant the brothers plan to strike an important deal with and set up additional factories in Hammond.
Galifianakis plays Ferell's contender, the shy, soft spoken, small business owner Marty Huggins, who runs the town's local tourism shop.
Set to run for re-election, Brady's campaign begins to awry after misdialing his mistress and the dirty message is left on the wrong answering machine.
At first, Huggins seems like an unlikely candidate, but his families political ties run deep and he is groomed by a shadowy campaign manager, who shakes the nerves off Huggins and turns him into a political machine.
But as the race continues to run, the film taps into what each man is apparently willing to give up to run for congressman. Both risk not only their spots for candidacy, but underneath all the political soft blows, their families.
Of course, there is also a fair share of cheap laughs, which are cleverly mixed in with the satirical comments on the down spirals of election time.