REVIEW: Captain Underpants – The First Epic Movie (2017)

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2017, 20th Century Fox/Dreamworks Animation

Director:
David Soren
Producers:
Mireille Soria
Mark Swift
Writers:
Dav Pilkey (original books)
Nicholas Stoller (screenplay)
Editing:
Matthew Landon

Voice Cast:
Kevin Hart (George Beard)
Ed Helms (Captain Underpants/Principal Grubb)
Nick Kroll (Professor Poopypants)
Thomas Middleditch (Harold Hutchins)
Jordan Peele (Melvin)
Kristen Schaal (Edith)

Dav Pilkey’s beloved epic comes to life in this hilarious family film driven by the talented voice cast, including the laugh out loud Kevin Hart and Ed Helms.

George Beard and Harold Hutchins have been best friends since meeting in kindergarten at Jreome Horowitz Elementary School. They spend their afternoons hanging out in George’s treehouse, where they create a comic book called “Captain Underpants”. Yet at school, they pull off pranks to the point where Principal Grubb, who has no sense of humor nor believes in the concept of fun, wants to separate them in an effort to ruin their friendship.

After pulling off a prank at an invention convention, George and Harold have finally been caught and Grubb attempts to make good on his word until George’s attempt to hypnotize Grubb becomes a reality. Learning they have successfully hypnotized Grubb, they decide to turn Grubb into Captain Underpants and things start to go insane for the duo. However, things are about to get worse when a new science teacher, Professor Poopypants, arrives at the school with the intent of world domination by getting rid of laughter.

The epic movie based on the epic children’s book series by Dav Pilkey, who recently admitted he writes his works in a cave in Japan, is quite a hoot. The story is pretty funny and truly geared towards children and the end result is such a delightful film about dreams and aspirations coming true, well, not exactly for everyone.

Of course, with children’s films, it must take a great voice cast to help drive the film and this film truly delivers. Kevin Hart and Thomas Middleditch are great, especially with their breaking the fourth wall, as best friends George and Harold, who are responsible for much of the chaos that ensues in the film, including incurring the constant wrath of their fun-hating Principal Grubb. Ed Helms’ take on the grim-faced principal turned fun-loving titular superhero is a hilarious laugh out loud performance, especially in a pivotal scene where George and Harold discover how to turn Captain Underpants back into Grubb and decide to have a hilarious time before learning why Grubb is the polar opposite to their creation.

Jordan Peele may seem like an unlikely choice to voice a character such as Melvin, a complete suck up who has no humor at all. However, Peele brings it to life quite well while Nick Kroll has to play perhaps one of the funniest villains in cartoon history with his role of Professor Poopypants. And as if that’s not funny enough, when you learn Professor P’s real full name, it will have the viewer rolling. Yes, it may be toilet humor, but compared to some of today’s raunchy teen comedies, this is truly tame and quite funny with Kristen Schaal’s lunch lady Edith having a crush on our principal by making him a tuna casserole with his name in peppers. There is also a funny running gag that goes on through the end of the film involving Grubb’s secretary.

If you want to take the kids to something hysterical, then Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is definitely one to take them to see. This is perhaps one of the most hysterical cartoon films today thanks to its ensemble voice cast.

WFG RATING: A


This film is playing in theaters now. Check your local theaters for showtimes.

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