This apparently was a thing….. It was a series of books which been adapted for the big screen and worldwide release. Captain Underpants in his first epic movie. Captain Underpants. A hero called Captain Underpants. He flies around in his underpants and a cape. There is shit tons of toilet humour involved……
I have learned so much recently.
Now it’s sunk in more, I can finally bring myself to write about it more here, as well as my gushings about it on a recent Aftermath YouTube video.
We knew just from the initial idea that the Emoji Movie would be a huge pile of poop, so why put ourselves through that awful 90 minute bile and feel cheated for paying for it afterwards? That will be for a future mini meh when it comes up on Netflix and there’s literally nothing else to do in life at all.
Instead, it’s another kids film I decided to descend on, and not be creepy at all in a cinema on a Sunday Morning. I suspect that the two families who dared to venture in early were concerned that they would need to tell the staff about a weird looking hobo sitting in the back row….
So dare I even attempt to portray in simple terms the grandness of such an undertaking here? I shall dare, and damn the consequences of my hubris overreaching and the scorn of my peers!
So the story here revolves around two best friends in school, George (Kevin Hart) and Harold (Thomas Middleditch, that bloke from Silicon Valley). They play pranks to liven things up as school is an oppressive place, run by the tyrannically boring school principal Mr. Krupp (Ed Helms). The kids are wonderfully innocent, love farts and create comics about a hero called Captain Underpants. They play up to a few stereotypes of course, but damned if I just didn’t just go along with them for the ride!
In the comics, Captain fights various foes, dolphins show up all the time (don’t ask) and they sell very well. George and Harold have their own treehouse / publishing company and life is pretty good. But on the verge of being split up from each other, due to being caught messing around with a toilet (again, don’t ask) George leaps up with the obvious solution and uses a plastic ring to hypnotize the school principal. Cue a huge TRALALAAAAAAAA and a shedding of clothes and it all begins to unravel from there.
I do mean unravel because at times it goes all over the place with the level of ridiculous events that unfold. As time goes on, we are introduced to the true villain of the piece, Professor P, who wants to rid the world of laughter. Will he succeed? Well, that would be telling.
So suffice it to say, this will not be Shakespeare. Given that the target audience for this will be in the 4 to 10 year old range, it had a very simple remit to fulfill. Be entertaining, not bore the adults and maybe have a lesson to learn at the end?
It succeeded to be entertaining and I as an adult (with the mind of a child) was certainly not bored. There even was a message at the end, which well…. will probably get ignored! With a wonderful mixture of silly situations, forth wall breaking and a terrifically innocent sensibility about it all, Captain Underpants turned my frown upside down. The voice acting is pretty damned good, and the two main kids are not annoying in any way either.
The running gags throughout the film also keep it interesting as you never know when the payoff will be. The clear contrast between the outside world as being colourful and alive, and the school being grey and miserable did change as events unfolded and at the end, you would swear the environment had changed along with some of the cast.
The songs are good, the animation on top form with a great design (lifted from the books for the comic parts clearly after I found the books themselves) and although there are times when it gets close to being too stupid for its own good, it does redeem itself and you accept what just happened and move on with the story.
Given the name of the film, you can’t help but think that Dreamworks and the author, Dav Pilkey will hope there will be many more of these to come in the future. Based on this first cinematic outing for the man with the elasticated Y-Fronts, I sincerely hope so. A solid recommendation from me to watch it when you can.
Which is not shocking at all considering I wanted to see the film just based purely on the damned name of it. I am a 34 year old man-child. I am fine with this.