by Martin Hafer
This has been a huge week for Wonder Woman, as it set a record for a female-directed movie with over $100,000,000 at the box office. However, in all the excitement over this film there is another superhero movie that debuted as well that deserves our attention as well…Captain Underpants! And, after having seen both films, I have to admit that I enjoyed watching Captain Underpants more because it is something few superhero movies are these days….it’s fun! Please understand me…I am not saying it’s necessarily better. However, it is a lot of fun and lighthearted…things you’d almost never associate with today’s very dark superhero films…and reasons you might not want to take kids to see most of the pictures in this genre.
In order to enjoy the Captain Underpants movie it sure helps if you are a child…or if you are a bit childish. My daughters grew up reading the Captain Underpants books and Dav Pilkey’s character certainly has been a hit among kids. Why do kids love Captain Underpants? Well, it’s everything serious literature is not…it’s filled with potty humor, bad jokes and silliness because Pilkey wrote and illustrated the books as if they were really created by mischievous children…the same George and Harold who are the stars of the film. And, having been a middle school teacher as well as a man who adamantly refuses to grow up, I had a wonderful time seeing it with my 22 year-old daughter…who also loved the movie.
The story begins with George and Harold being called into their very grouchy principal’s office. As usual, they are up to no good and as usual the mirthless man is about to throw the book at the boys…sending them to separate classrooms…which is horrible since they are best friends. However, in desperation, George tries out his cheap hypno-ring he got in a cereal box and amazingly it works…turning the principal into the boys’ slave. They decide to make him become Captain Underpants…the hero in the comic book the boys have created. And, like this character, the principal begins running around town fighting crime….in his underwear! Little do the boys realize that they’ll need his help when the evil Professor Poopypants arrives with his latest weapon!
Okay…I’ll admit this does not sound like Shakespeare or Jane Austin. You’ve got Professor Poopypants, comments about Uranus and fart jokes. But these are exactly what kids really love…and I heard lots of kids laughing throughout the movie. And, even though I am supposed to be sophisticated and above all this, I found myself laughing too.
I also appreciate how the Canadian team who made the film managed to capture the look, style and spirit of the Captain Underpants books. While the CGI is not the most complicated I’ve ever seen, it matches the characters perfectly…and even offers a cute added sock puppet show! Funny, well written and a lot of fun, this is NOT a good date night movie but a perfect film if you’ve got kids (young or even grown like mine) who grew up with Pilkey’s creation. Not to be missed.Share: