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article imageReview: ‘Captain Underpants’ wears a cape of silliness Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Jun 3, 2017 in Entertainment
‘Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie’ is a fun picture that lets kids’ imaginations run wild with possibilities… and occasional toilet humour.
Stunting a child’s creativity is considered a crime by many people. After all, their imaginations are a source of fun as well as a means of understanding the complicated world around them. Thus, in a lot of adolescent or children’s fiction, the villainous adult is trying to keep the protagonist kids from having fun through pretend or invention. In Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, the two boys at the centre of the story decide to teach their super strict principal a lesson when he destroys their latest comic.
George (Kevin Hart) and Harold (Thomas Middleditch) have been best friends since meeting on their first day of school. They hangout in George’s treehouse and produce comic books featuring their personal superhero: Captain Underpants. However, at school they must contend with the authoritarian rule of Principal Krupp (Ed Helms) who confiscates anything that results in fun and crushes their dreams of good defeating evil. Then one day they experience a miracle: they hypnotize Mr. Krupp and turn him into their fictitious champion, Captain Underpants. Now they have to try to control the adult man running about town in his tighty whities before he gets them all into real trouble.
These two kids have a couple of the greatest imaginations. George comes up with the stories and Harold draws the comics. They also enjoy sock puppets. But in addition to channelling their creativity into the arts, they also pull a variety of pranks at school, which is one of the main reasons Krupp has it in for them. When the principal threatens to separate the boys, who have been in the same class every year since kindergarten, they need to take action. In a panic, George thrusts his novelty hypnotism ring at Krupp and to their surprise it works. After a few animal impersonations, they come up with the ultimate trick: bring their fabled comic book hero to life.
However, even though having a goofy superhero is fun in their comics, in the real world he’s a liability. Captain Underpants’ enthusiasm (“TRA-LA-LAAAA!”) is only matched by his epic dimwittedness. What started as an entertaining idea soon turns into a huge burden as they find it nearly impossible to reign him in from whatever impractical mission he’s set his mind to. And the arrival of the clearly evil Professor Poopypants (Nick Kroll), their new science teacher, is just one more thing the boys have to combat.
Hart and Middleditch are excellent as the little people with big dreams. They have so much energy and capture the excitement of childhood seamlessly. Helms similarly portrays both his personalities perfectly, fully differentiating between the strict despot and happy-go-lucky superhero. His character also injects a little drama into the narrative as the boys learn sometimes adults are more complicated then they may first appear.
Director: David Soren
Starring: Kevin Hart, Thomas Middleditch and Ed Helms
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