Where to begin with this rubbish? I went along to the screening not expecting much – after all, how can you satirise American politics when it's already a comedy of the absurd? – but even then I was hugely disappointed. The cast looked promising: Will Ferrell can be good for a laugh; Zach Galifianakis may have featured in the overhyped and massively overrated The Hangover franchise, but he has a funny face; the writers had worked together on the patchy-but-funny Eastbound & Down. Well, comedy isn't maths, and the sums just don't add up in The Campaign.

Ferrell stars as Democratic Congressman Cam Brady of North Carolina's 14th District, who's running for his fifth term unopposed. His campaign gets damaged when he inadvertently leaves a saucy message, for a cheerleader he's been seeing on the side, on the answering machine of a family of devout Christians (the father of whom is played by Jack McBrayer, who plays a similar character in 30 Rock). A pair of businessmen, brothers Glen (John Lithgow) and Wade Motch (Dan Aykroyd) – who are clearly based on the Koch brothers, a pair of obscenely wealthy Americans who invest in right-wing political causes – then decide to back local tour guide Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis) as an unlikely candidate for the Republicans.

As this tiresome saga drags on, a baby gets punched in the face, a dog gets similar treatment, one politician uses a sex tape to promote his campaign, and each candidate tries to out mud-sling the other, until the end, when people start telling 'the truth'.

The only plus was that the ending proved that this film is utter bull – or maybe we're to take it that billionaires involved in politics will a) get found out and b) good will out in the end? Don't make me laugh.

Oh, that's right. You didn't.

John Byrne