Cap. Underpants

MOMMY MOVIE REVIEW- “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie”

My youngest daughter actually screamed when we left for school this morning. She was lugging her backpack to the car when a neighborhood kid pedaled past us on his bike. This guy must already be out of school because he was wearing swim trunks and flip flops, and whistled a happy tune as he whizzed past us. It was simply too much for Lucy, who has a week left of school, so she understandably screamed.
It’s this utter exhaustion and school-malaise that will speak to kids who see Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie.
Those who’ve read the book series already know it’s about class-clowns Harold and George, who hypnotize their menacing principal into thinking he’s a superhero. This would’ve worked to the boys’ advantage if he hadn’t hired a super villain to be their new teacher while under hypnosis. Harold and George must then stop the villain’s evil plans while keeping their principal’s new identity under wraps. Yeah, it’s all just as ludicrous as it sounds.
What keeps Captain Underpants from succumbing to it’s own silliness is Harold and George’s genuine shock that any of this is REALLY HAPPENING. Voiced by Kevin Hart and Thomas Middleditch, the boys are far more concerned about the prospect of being (gasp!) separated by their principal than they are about evil doers or giant robotic toilets. Parents will notice how Captain Underpants gives an underlying nod to our exhausted education system and how the joy of learning sometimes feels like it’s been sucked dry. It also shows the battle-lines that are drawn between kids and teachers, and how students who aren’t easily categorized are often labeled as simply BAD.
None of this will stand out to the kids because they’ll be too busy cheering on Harold and George.
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie does have it’s problems though. The film suffers when character-hyperactivity replaces actual story. This is most evident with our super villain (voiced by an awesome Nick Kroll), who bounces all over the screen like a bunny. Current kids’ movies are plagued by these over-the-top characters, which I guess are supposed to be funny.
As annoying as that can get, it will do little to dampen your kids’ enthusiasm (especially if they’re elementary-school aged). No, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie might not be perfect, but its definitely the perfect movie for RIGHT NOW. B-

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