The Campaign was released in August 2012 and so it came right on time while the presidential candidates still fought against each other for the seat in the White House. Rather than a serious examination of the election process, we get quite the opposite with this film. Here, two very odd characters compete with each other and make so many odd mistakes that it would be strange if they got a single vote in real life. Sometimes, the film loses its pace because the absurd situations are so heavily exaggerated that it doesn't really matter what the story is. Clearly, the reason to watch this comedy are its main stars Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis. You'd have to like their special humor in order to really enjoy the movie, though.
After the theatrical cut had a crisp running time of just 85 minutes, Warner Brothers submitted an Extended Cut to the MPAA that was also rated R but runs 10 minutes longer. It's undoubtful that you get the better film with this version. If you can accept that the film connects one comedic exaggeration to the next, the Extended Cut will provide you with much more of that (which is really funny in some scenes, e.g. Ferell's night journey). This version will not be available on DVD but the Blu-ray contains both cuts of the movie.
Comparison between the Theatrical Version (R-Rated) with the Extended Cut (R-Rated) (both included on the US Blu-ray by Warner Bros.)
11 differences, consisting of
4 extended scenes
4 additional scenes
2 extended scenes with alternate material
1 scene with alternate material
The Extended Cut runs 583.24 sec. or approx. 9 minutes 44 seconds longer than the theatrical version.
0:16:05: Cam and Mitch briefly mock about Marty's lack of capability to open the door.
The Extended Cut runs 4.08 sec. longer
0:24:48: When Tim orders the workers to place the picture of an eagle above the chimney, the Extended Cut shows him from behind while the theatrical version continues the front shot of him.
No time difference
0:24:50: The redecoration of the Huggins home continues in the Extended Cut. Here, Mitzi protests that the family portrait is taken off the wall and Marty complains to Tim about the removal of all their clothes. Tim replies that there will be a new dress code (suits for official appearances, sportswear for casual). Furthermore, he almost sounds bewildered when he tells Marty to put the beds of him and Mitzi together.
Scene change to the living room where Tim criticizes the kids. When he learns that the boys don't do sports, he just shakes his head and wonders what Mitzi and Marty do to them. They reply that the boys are home-schooled and are good aiders.
0:27:33: A new scene with Cam Brady who seems very confident to win the election. While he enjoys a beer in the pool, he lies to Mitch on the phone that he's currently on a campaign trail and meets important people.
0:28:29: Cam shows his unfailing sense for the things the ladies want to hear. He flirts with a woman shortly before the debate and says that it must be hard to be a teacher and a contender for Miss America at the same time. She replies that she's married but so does he and adds that they have a common denominator (math joke). Before it can get any more awkward, Mitch approaches and wants to tell Cam something he found out. While the woman thankfully goes on a run, Mitch says he learned that the Motch brothers support Marty with 1 million Dollars. Mitch and Cam both think that this money is tossed out of the window.
0:42:52: After Cam got bitten by the rattle snake and jumps through the church window, the theatrical version is directly showing him in the hospital. The Extended Cut shows more of his odyssey. When Mitch and the others look out of the window, Cam is long gone. While the preacher talks about a miracle, we see Cam running through the forest in the middle of the night, still hazy by the snake's poison. His arm has swelled to a size that's five times bigger than normal (and maybe so did his sexual organ). Also, a change of character seems to have happened because he suddenly wallows in a puddle of mud and eats a racoon.
Scene change to the very Christian family that we already know from Cam's raunchy phone call that accidentally landed on their answering machine. They have to suffer once more when Cam bursts through their balcony door and devastates their living room while he screams like a wild animal. The family screams in fear and when the father yells at Cam how he has already brought enough difficulties to the family, he reacts with a primal scream and then falls onto the glass table.
0:47:43: When Cam asks Marty to talk late at night, Marty quickly discovers a camera in Cam's shirt and asks him to remove it. Still, Cam tries to have some more conversation while he "unobtrusively" tries to film some more. Of course, Marty recognizes this. Cam argues that it's a habit caused by his constant fear of being recorded and that he uses this as a method to do the same. When all is settled, Marty invites Cam in.
Extended Scene with alternate material
0:52:57: Cam's short trip in the police car is different in both versions. While the theatrical version shows him colliding with a cow, the Extended Cut shows how he gets a bad conscience and decides to drive back to the police officer. In the process, he hits a trash barrel and then turns the vehicle around. When he gets back to the officer, he is taken into custody (surprisingly). Also, both versions differ in the things Cam says while driving the police car. While he praises himself for his action and the car for its speed in both cuts, the Extended Cut also has him realizing that it's not his car and imagining a good plan to avoid any punishment. He wants to fool the police officer by telling him that he is his backup. That will work for sure. Well, you know what happens next.
The Extended Cut runs 28.68 Sec. longer
Extended Scene with alternate material
0:53:36: While Cam and Mitch exit the prison without further endue, the Extended Cut shows that a bunch of reporters awaits them and questions Cam about his latest escapade. Here, he once again thinks of a laughable excuse when he says that a few drinks actually help in car accidents because they loosen up the muscles. Mitch recognizes the critical situation and denies further questions. When they get in the car, Cam has to go through the court-ordered alcohol test before he can drive away. Of course, he has too much alcohol left in his body and the car alarm starts.
Scene change: Cam and Mitch go by foot and while he underlines how important it is to gain money for his campaign, Cam throws away a Huggins advertisement that he comes across. Then, Tim approaches in his sports car and offers them a ride. While they are sceptical at first, Tim assures them that he just wants to be nice. He even swears on his dead mother's grave. After they are convinced and want to get in the car, Tim drives away with screeching tires and yells that his mother is still alive. Cam and Mitch are demonstratively cool about it.
0:58:31: A new, long scene at Cam's home. After a last minute check with Mitch, Cam has a live interview in the Piers Morgan Show. When he is asked whether the big companies would run the campaign by financing it, Cam denies that. However, he tries a not-so subtle product placement of menthol cigarettes, Coke Zero and even Marty's campaign for all of which he was paid. Piers Morgan is visibly angered by that and changes topic. He introduces Cam's wife, who complains about the hardship this campaign has brought onto her marriage to Cam. After she goes about his fat gain and body hair at weird places, she also announces an upcoming book and the sale of the film rights. Cam's patience is over and he aborts the interview.
1:11:26: After Tim told Marty that there are no more Honey Loops, the Extended Cut shows Marty answering that Tim should look in the pantry. There should be some Fruit Loops left.