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Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

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Yup. It still bothers me when a film puts the word “movie” in the title just because it looks odd in the title of my review. Unfortunately, that’s not up to me, so I just have to deal with it. I’ve never been a dedicated fan of the Captain Underpants books. They’re enjoyable reads, sure, but they’re not a series I collected for rereads. Of course, I remember them being popular, but I still don’t know anyone who was dying for this movie. Actually, I’m surprised this movie is coming here in 2017. I would have thought that this it was way too far behind its time, but the box office results will have to let us know if I’m right about that. Let’s talk about Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie!

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is directed by David Soren and stars Kevin Hart, Thomas Middleditch, Ed Helms, Nick Kroll, and Jordan Peele. In life, George and Harold only care about two things: each other, and the super cool comic book character they’ve created in their treehouse, Captain Underpants. Unfortunately, Mr. Krupp, the school principal, doesn’t see their imagination and creativity as a good thing as it usually leads to pranks on the school and those who run it. When George and Harold hypnotize Mr. Krupp, he becomes the amazing Captain Underpants, a hero of good, bravery, and no shame whatsoever.

You have to take most of Captain Underpants with as little seriousness as you can. If you walk into the theater with the mindset that you’re a mature, respectable adult who doesn’t have any patience for toilet humor and beings of lesser intelligence, you’re going to hate this movie. I guess my word to the wise is to not be stuffy in a movie called Captain Underpants. Yes, Captain Underpants. It’s not Captain America or Captain Marvel or Captain Phillips. It’s Captain Underpants, so know what you’re walking into. If you do, you might find a lot of heart in this film. Today, any positivity I can find in film, I love to acknowledge, and this movie is filled with it. The two main characters are so cheery and optimistic that it’s contagious. You can’t help but smile at their sense of positivity and friendship, and this quality relationship just makes me happy. I even found all of the voice actors to have great chemistry. These are some of the best voices in comedy with Kevin Hart, Thomas Middleditch, Ed Helms, Nick Kroll, Jordan Peele, and Kristen Schaal. I’d probably be more shocked if the voice acting wasn’t great, but I’m still thankful for the way that this cast is able to fully inhabit their characters. The swirling positivity in this movie leads to a great message of creativity and imagination. It’s important to be grounded in a bit of reality, but that reality should never be able to destroy or demean a sense of wonder, and this movie doesn’t ever cross that line.

Even though it has good intentions and a few good jokes for adults, this movie is still probably a one-time watch for adults. I have a soft-spot for animated movies. Take last year’s Moana for example. I watched it in theaters once, but now I’ve seen it multiple times on Blu-ray. I’ll rewatch it anytime, and I’ll enjoy it every time. With Captain Underpants, I don’t see that being a serious possibility. I think most parents are going to see it once, maybe the kids will love it, then it will probably be forgotten in a few days. Parents might even find it on home video at some point down the road, and they’ll remember it right in time to put it on for the kids to distract them for a couple of hours. It’s not something I was extremely invested in, and I don’t completely buy into the material to make me clamor for another installment. I’m not dying to see these characters back on-screen because to me, they aren’t supremely entertaining. They’re sweet and I love the relationship they have, but most of the puns are eye rollers that live in a story world that I never fully bought into.

Overall, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie isn’t the best animated movie I’ve seen this year, but it’s also not going to be the worst. It’s faithful to the quick-witted humor that the source material provides, and the voice casting is great. They fully embrace these characters and the ridiculousness, so they all came together to have great cast chemistry despite only having vocals. I also love the positivity of this movie. The positive energy and message of creativity all bring out the best in the film, and I think it’s the reason Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is worth watching. Unfortunately, I do think it’s only worth one watch. It’s not something that I was emotionally invested in. Despite having good intentions, the Superman-like origin story never really hooked me through my emotions, so I can’t consider it one of the better animated films of the year. I’m going to give Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie a 5.5/10.

Will you be checking out Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie? Comment down in the comment section and let me know! As always, thank you, and keep listening to 88.7 The Pulse!

Justin Lyons

Hey, it's Justin Lyons! I am the Chief Film Critic for The Pulse. Have any questions for me? Please feel free to email me at [email protected]