Let’s get thing sorted out straight away- I only went to see this film for you guys. I hope you are happy. Although, at the end of the day, I did walk out of this film kind of cheery too. Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is a kids film through and through but that doesn’t mean it is all stupid… Just a lot of it is.
Our main characters in the film, two boys called George and Harold, played by comedian Kevin Hart and Thomas Middleditch, are the two main pranksters at their school which is under the oppressive eyes of Mr Krupp, voiced by Ed Helms. The two also like to draw comic books in their tree house and their favourite creation is Captain Underpants. The boys accidentally turn Mr Krupp into the eponymous hero and a mad adventure begins from there. The voice work is very excellent with the two kids being real stand-outs. They are complemented by the unique animation style which fits the comic book theme in the story.
As I said before, this film is for kids. Most of the humour is silly jokes centering on that most beloved of household objects, the toilet. But they are not just all silly and they got me to chuckle from time to time. One joke recurs over and over that the children find hilarious but for me, stopped working about the tenth time they told it. Behind the silly humour, there is a nice message about not taking yourself too seriously and being able to laugh at yourself which I still struggle with sometimes now- if only this film had existed before and cured me of my lack of self-taking-the-mickey!
One major drawback I had came from the pacing. The set-up for Captain Underpants lingers for a little too long and it takes time to get him in movie properly. However, the most noticeable issue with the pace came with the climactic battle of the movie. The way they approach the fight takes all the excitement and suspense out of it and for a kid, that is really a bit silly. In essence, you don’t get to see a fight which I think is a moronic decision and, although it is in-keeping with some of the humour, it’s not funny and not worth ruining the finale for.
Charmingly animated and voiced with some silly humour that sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t, Captain Underpants is a decent enough film for kids but a couple of strange pacing decisions spoil a bit of the fun. Get watching… But only when you are forced by your own children.