I’m guessing that, when you first saw that this even existed, you probably did exactly the same as me. A roll of the eyes, a groan, perhaps even a ‘what has the world come to’?
Captain Underpants is the story of two high-school best friends George and Harold, Kevin Hart (Ride Along, Get Hard) and Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley (TV), Kong: Skull Island), who write a comic book about a man they’ve called, Captain Underpants.
They are the pranksters of their high-school, always getting into trouble with their principle Mr. Krupp, Ed Helms (The Hangover, The Office (TV)), who just needs proof before he can separate them and bring their pranks, and hopefully friendship, to an end.
When he finally gets the proof he needs, thanks to whiter-than-white student Melvin, Jordan Peele (Keanu, Get Out), the boys take drastic measures and end up hypnotising Mr. Krupp into thinking he is, Captain Underpants.
The next thing you know, an evil genius named Professor P, Nick Kroll (Sausage Party, Sing), arrives at the school, hellbent on removing laughter from every child. Can Captain Underpants, Harold and George save the day?
I haven’t read any of the original books by Dav Pilkey, so am going straight from the film which, I’m ashamed to say, isn’t that bad. No, I know, I know, you’re rolling your eyes right now, but here’s the thing.
It’s squarely aimed at kids, and on that front it went down an absolute storm. It’s full of juvenile, potty humour, which it makes no apologies for (it’s pointed out a few times in the film), and the kids loved it.
For starters, Professor P wants to rid the world of laughter because everyone laughs at his name, which is Professor Poopypants, the emphasis on ‘poop’.
Kids will find that funny, ok, most kids will find that funny, some adults will too. Both George and Harold continuously break the fourth wall and regularly interrupt scenes with explanations or to keep things light.
These aren’t annoying as they sound and only add to the fun elements within the film.
Look, no-one is saying this is Shakespeare, or in any way the greatest movie ever made. But, it’s a movie aimed at kids, kids loved it and will quote it for weeks afterwards. Take that as a warning if you don’t want to be called Professor Poopypants for the following days/weeks/months.
It’s bright, it’s bold, it’s entertaining. Yes, it’s potty humour, yes, it’s juvenile and if you don’t like that sort of thing then, naturally, you won’t like this. But your kids probably will.