CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS: THE FIRST EPIC MOVIE (6.5 out of 10) Directed by David Soren; Written by Nicholas Stoller, based on the epic novels by Dav Pilkey; Starring Kevin Hart, Thomas Middleditch, Ed Helms, Nick Kroll, Jordan Peele, Kristen Schaal; Rated PG for mild rude humor throughout; Running time 89 minutes; In wide release June 2, 2017.
Fans of childish humor, rejoice! Captain Underpants finally hits theaters this week celebrating the silliest in potty humor. When Principal Krupp (Helms) threatens to separate best friends Harold and George (Middleditch and Hart), they use the magic hypno ring they got in a cereal box to make him believe he is the legendary Captain Underpants-- the star of their homemade comic books. And when new science teacher Professor Poopypants tries to use mad science to make the world stop laughing at his name, the kids and Captain Underpants will have to stop him.
If that sounds too juvenile for you, this is certainly not for you. But for those who think that there's something hilarious about underpants and potties and a character named Poopypants, this is the film you've been waiting for. It speaks to the 8 year old boy in all of us, but this is also its biggest weakness-- emphasis on "boy."
While the film is really funny, its only characters are male. You can count lines from female characters on two hands-- and female "characters" on two fingers. And the one with even a minor role (Kristin Schaal brutally underutilized as a lunchlady) is relegated to being a romantic interest for Principal Krupp. There's just no excuse for this. What about all the little girls out there who like potty humor, or who can be encouraged to draw their own comic books? Apparently, that requires male anatomy. *Sigh* Most kids won't notice, but that's the problem with the subtle messages in movies and tv.
But if you can ignore all of that, it's pretty funny. The cast are all perfect in their roles, and while the film fails at gender diversity, it's excellent to see the main crux of the story being about best friends who just happen to be from different racial backgrounds. But even as juvenile as the humor is, this is certainly a hundred times funnier than most of our recent comedies, and certainly any of the recent movies aimed at kids.
6.5 out of 10