#REVIEW: “CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS: THE FIRST EPIC MOVIE”
Review by Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
Tra-la-laaa! Growing up, reading was never something that truly grabbed my attention, until this uncanny superhero book came to my attention by Author Dav Pilkey, who created a world I have never otherwise been exposed to. This world while completely fictional and ridiculous, brought together two friends as they created Captain Underpants comic books to help them escape their realities. While the books are in ways ‘juvenile’, as an adult seeing something that I cherished so much as a child shaping the person I am today, certainly brought me a smile. Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie brings out the inner child out in its fans.
The Movie starts off with best friends George (Kevin Hart) and Harold (Thomas Middleditch) who are the absolute definition of classroom clowns; in their own respect, they are like Bart Simpson. They constantly get into trouble and have to visit the incredibly stern principal, Mr. Krupp (Ed Helms) who has zero tolerance for their shenanigans. However after school, George and Harold retreat into their treehouse and create comic books called Captain Underpants, their own creation to fight evil and whatnot. They publish these comics on their own and distribute amongst their classmates until Mr. Krupp seizes them. Upon Mr. Krupp finally having enough of their antics and threatening to put George and Harold in opposite classes, they hypnotize their principal into a buffoonish superhero known as Captain Underpants. All is normal, or as normal as can be when you have your principal is transformed into your underwear with curtain turned into cape-wearing superhero of course, until a new teacher enters the picture, Professor Poopypants. Will Harold and George as well as Captain Underpants be able to stop him?
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is a blast with its ability to bring back the joy that the original book brought to its readers. Yes it is ‘potty humour’, as the villainous weapon of choice so happens to be literal in this instance, but it is pure fun and delight that these books (and Film) bring to its now older audience.
The voice-over work in this Film is truly fantastic. Firstly, Kevin Hart truly gives it his all and brings such life to George, embodying the character from the books to a tee. Ed Helms who manages to play both over-bearing and fear-mongering Mr. Krupp to the overly-absurd and fun Captain Underpants. Nick Kroll who seems to lend his voice to more villainous voice-over work manages to play the maniacal Professor Poopypants to perfection as well.
Captain Underpants was a stepping-stone for some children to get into reading, and with new books in the franchise still coming out, this most likely still is true.
In his first feature-length Film, Captain Underpants is executed perfectly and joy is brought to old and new fans with nods to the books that truly are inspired.
20th Century Fox Canada release CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS: THE FIRST EPIC MOVIE is in theatres on Friday, June 2, 2017.