“Captain Underpants” is Dumb, Self-Aware Fun

Captain Underpants

“Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie” is directed by David Soren and stars Kevin Hart, Thomas Middleditch, Ed Helms, and Nick Kroll.  The movie is based on the novels written by Dav Pilkey and is about two best friends who turn their evil principal into Captain Underpants, a bumbling hero with a lack of clothing but with all the enthusiasm in the world.

This is a movie that I was actually quite excited for, as the “Captain Underpants” novels were something that I was a big fan of as a kid, and the trailer appeared to have much of the fun, easygoing humor that I would hope for with such a ludicrous premise.  So, while I knew “Wonder Woman” would get all of the attention this weekend, and rightfully so, I still came in hoping for a load of laughs.

The Good

The animation is gorgeous in this film, as the movie takes more of a ridiculous, wacky style of animation and it works beautifully with the tone and comedy that is used within the film.  The action sequences and visual tools that are used throughout the film make for a very uniquely animated movie and one that is optically pleasing from the start.

The voice performances from the entire main cast are all great, but it’s the chemistry between Kevin Hart and Thomas Middleditch’s characters that I loved the most.  These two in the lead roles just carry so much energy and have a frantic, vibrant feel to them that was contagious to watch, and their vocal performances were excellent, as were their comedic moments.  I also really like Ed Helms in his dual role, and Nick Kroll brings a terrific villain in Professor P, as he has easily the funniest lines in the entire film.

The comedy used in this movie is done in a very wacky, self-aware way that allows the film to be stupid, yet still enjoyable.  David Soren knew what he was making when adapting a kid’s book about a hero without proper clothing, and that allows the audience to be in on the meta humor and on the lunacy that takes place in this movie without having to roll your eyes.  There is just something so refreshing about a dumb movie that never takes itself too seriously, and it allowed me to have a real blast of a time watching this film from start to finish.

The Bad

There really isn’t that much to gripe about here, because like I said, this is a self-aware film that knows its limits, but since I feel it is my duty to point out the flaws, there are some plot elements that don’t always add up.  Minor inconsistencies with the villain’s weapons, some moments in the story, and Captain Underpants himself do take me out of the pure entertainment at some points, and while it never bothered me enough to fully lose me, there are some noticeable slip-ups in the story, but I’d be lying to you if I said that they are major in my opinion of this movie.

Sometimes the movie tries to overstuff the runtime with nods to the books or with simply too much story, and these moments also take away from the lightheartedness of the film as a whole and were unneeded in such a fun, easygoing animated film.

Conclusion

“Captain Underpants” is unique, gorgeously animated, well-acted, and entertaining for all ages, with a comedy style that fits perfectly with the premise.  I got exactly what I wanted from this film in all aspects, and, unless you’re going in for an Oscar winner, you will too.  Absolutely go see “Wonder Woman”, it deserves all the money in the world, but I also would recommend this shirtless superhero to fans of the book, and to those looking for a quick laugh.

Badge-7.5

Get tickets and showtimes for “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie” here

What did you think of “Captain Underpants”?  Comment below with your thoughts.


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