Thursday, July 13, 2017

Review: "Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie" is the surprise of the summer.

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Review
I can usually get a pretty good read on a movie just by watching the trailers. I can get a good idea if I am going to like a movie or if I shouldn't even waste my time on it. But sometimes I get surprised. I figured I would probably like "Captain Underpants." I grew up reading the books, read my first one in fourth grade, now working at a daycare center, its fun watching children learning to read discover this series for the first time. Like I said, I expected to like this movie. But I didn't expect to borderline love it.

Besides "Shrek" and "Kung Fu Panda" have been the biggest hits DreamWorks has ever had in their animated department. And even most of the sequels on those two franchises vary from good to mediocre. DreamWorks animation has always been a poor man's Pixar, and while I have liked some DreamWorks films, I have always loved Pixar. It seems like the animated movies DreamWorks makes were movies that only catered to the children in the audience, it didn't matter that those children were usually coming to the theater accompanied by a parent. Was there any material for the adults in the room? Unfortunately not, by and large. while Pixar makes movies for the entire audience. "Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie" is a movie that is for everyone. There are things everybody will laugh about, there are things that everybody will be affected by. This is not something you need to take your children to and then you turn your brain off after a long day at the office.

George Beard (Kevin Hart) and Harold Hutchins (Thomas Middleditch) are two best friends in middle school. They love pulling pranks on their school principle Benjamin Krupp (Ed Helms) and working on an independent comic book in their treehouse called Captain Underpants. After pulling off a crazy prank, the friends are caught and Krupp arranges for the two friends not to be in the same classroom anymore. They boys hypnotize Krupp into believing that he really is Captain Underpants, and soon their superhero creation has come to life. Which also follows by his adversaries coming to life as well.

How do the boys hypnotize their principal? Well, its a little far-fetched. But hey, its a kids movie. There are some logical issues that you sometimes have to excuse. What's most important is how slick and sleek the animation is, even though it is like a frame-by-frame recreation of the illustrations from the books. All of the voice actors do really good work. But the thing that gets me the most is that there are some good laughs sprinkled throughout the entire movie. I also really enjoyed that there are some good lessons to be taught in this movie. This is a good example of how children don't always get what they want in the world, even at a young age. That sometimes they will have to compromise. I think these are very important lessons to learn, even as a child.

Plus, the movie is just a ton of fun. They have taken all of the young fun of the books and translated it perfect to screen. Yes, this is a very silly movie and adults, depending on how big your tolerance for silliness is will determine how much you like this movie. But for me, liking the books as a fourth grader, I can honestly say DreamWorks did a good job adapting this material. They add a little something to an otherwise goofy storyline, and they hired some fine talent to bring it to life. You just might end up being surprised, like I was.

FINAL GRADE: B+


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