Captain Underpants has failed to find an audience in the US, and will likely fail in that regard on these shores – and that is a crying shame. This animated gem is a thoroughly entertaining, engaging and extremely fun movie. With expectations lower than one can fathom, director David Soren invigorates his audience with such a kind and thoughtful energy it’s impossible to resist.
Embracing the riotous absurdity of the source material, Soren throws the kitchen sink at the film. Different types of animation, fourth-wall breaking, wondrously kinetic montages all have their moments within the film. And why not? The main character is a grown man who becomes a foolish faux superhero running around in underpants, taking on a villain called Professor Poopypants. Soren never belittles the material, he celebrates it.
Embracing the creativity and joy that childhood offers, Captain Underpants is a film that is ridiculously silly but one that should not be a torture chamber for adults. The snappy film does stumble when the pace drops, with the introduction of a sort-of message about “creativity is vital”, and the use of generic Top 40 chart music. It does ultimately fail to reach the creative and comedic heights of The LEGO Movie, but the heart and unrelenting likability of this film should charm even the most hardened viewer.
If all else fails, you can laugh at the fact that it has some of the best fart jokes and toilet humour you’ll see today.
No word of a lie, Captain Underpants is a good movie. The film for which the world’s population has no expectation or hopes for is a genuine treat filled with humour, laughs and a heart of gold. It’s wondrous, hilarious, exuberant fun. Give it a go, as it fully deserves an audience.
CAST: Kevin Hart, Ed Helms, Nick Kroll, Thomas Middleditch
DIRECTOR: David Soren
WRITERS: Nicholas Stoller (screenplay), David Soren (additional material), Dav Pilkey (based on the epic novels by)
SYNOPSIS: Two overly imaginative pranksters named George and Harold hypnotize their principal into thinking he’s a ridiculously enthusiastic, incredibly dimwitted superhero named Captain Underpants.