While I remember when the Captain Underpants stories came out, I think I was a little too old to be the target audience at the time, but it did catch my eye. Never would I imagine it would turn into an actual kid’s film, but it does make sense. Captain Underpants and the entire universe he exists in is hilarious for kids, poop and potty jokes galore! So, as we often have to ask ourselves, how well does this story translate to the big screen? Let’s get into it, starting with the plot.
“Two overly imaginative pranksters named George and Harold hypnotize their principal into thinking he’s a ridiculously enthusiastic, incredibly dimwitted superhero named Captain Underpants.” (Twentieth Century Fox)
Weirdly enough, I actually kind of like this film. It’s ridiculous and full of stupid potty humor, and I love it. It brought me back to the day I first watched Dumb & Dumber. This is a film that just wants to make you laugh. While there is a bad guy and a plot for direction, it mostly focuses on the humor and ridiculousness, and for the most part, it does work. Even my two year old loves to repeat the captain when he repeatedly shouts, “Tra la laa!”. You know you’ve got a winner when a kid’s movie captures a kid’s attention.
These, of course, are just my first impressions. Let’s go ahead and break down Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie to interpret the stars!
TITLE – Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
Year – 2017
Genres – Action, Animation, Comedy, Family
Possible Awards – Superhero of the Year, Adaptation
PEOPLE SCORE – 7/10
Acting – 1|Characters – 2|Casting – 1|Importance – 2|Chemistry – 1
First up, we have the people category, starting off with the subcategory of acting. The acting was neither terrible or great, mostly typical and forgettable. These characters were diverse, unique, and most importantly, memorable. I think everyone did a fine job in the role, but that doesn’t mean they were the only actor for the job. Absolutely every character in this film seemingly had an important role adding to the direction of the plot, I was impressed. They had a reason, they had a purpose, they had history, and I love it. As far as the chemistry goes in this film, there wasn’t much of it. While it was fine, no one really cares about the relationships in this film.
WRITING SCORE – 9/10
Dialogue – 2|Balanced – 2|Story – 1|Originality – 2|Interesting – 2
Next up, we have the writing category, starting off with the dialogue, which was actually really well thought out. There’s a lot of memorable lines, and just the way people speak is hard to forget. I would certainly say that the film is also very well-balanced and consistently holds a strong focus on the story at hand. When it comes to the actual story, I can’t really say it’s the best. It’s got a few things here and there that I think a lot of people will enjoy, but it’s certainly not the greatest story ever told. In my opinion, I also think this film feels fresh and pretty darn original. Was this movie interesting? Of course it was, don’t be silly. I was all-in for this one.
BTS SCORE – 9/10
Visuals – 2|Directing – 1|Editing – 2|Advertisement – 2|Music – 2
Next up, we’re taking a look behind-the-scenes, starting with the visuals, and the visuals were pretty darn great here. Somebody knew what they were doing. Next, we’re taking a look at the directing, which slips by without you noticing it. That’s right, there wasn’t anything difficult or challenging for the director. They could’ve hired any director for the job and the movie would be exactly the same. The editing was pretty darn impressive in this film. I’m always impressed when something surprising shows up thanks to the editor, and that is what you get here. As with most films, I consider this film to be exactly as advertised, which is good. This doesn’t happen often, but I’m awfully glad when it does. The music in this film is pretty fantastic. So good, in fact, that I really wouldn’t mind listening to a soundtrack of the film just to hear them again. Yep, yep, yep!
NARRATIVE ARC SCORE – 10/10
Introduction – 2|Inciting Incident – 2|Obstacles – 2|Climax – 2|Falling Action – 2
Next up, we’re chugging right along into the narrative arc category, which is one of the easiest categories to score highly in. First up, we’re looking at the introduction, which did perfectly. By the inciting incident, we knew who everyone was, the basic setting, and what’s going on in these people’s lives. How about the inciting incident? That was perfectly clear and set the rest of the film up for a good ride. How were the obstacles? Totally fine. There were plenty of clear obstacles in the way, just as you’d come to expect. How was the climax? The climax was perfect. It felt like a perfect culmination of everything else put together, just as it should. Lastly, we’re gonna talk about the falling action, which was really great. It had a nice little calming down moment and a definite returning to a new norm moment as well, so that’s good.
ENTERTAINMENT SCORE – 5/10
Rewatchability – 2|Fun – 2|Impulse/Buy – 0|Impulse/Talk – 0|Sucks Audience IN – 1
Next up, we’re asking if this film is any good to be considered entertaining when all is said and done. First up, we ask if it is rewatchable, to which I say…yes! I would have no issues checking out this movie again! Is this a film I would consider fun while watching? Oh yeah, absolutely. Whatever technical problems the movie may or may not have, it is definitely fun, and that’s something no one can take away from it. Do I have any impulse to buy it? No way, Jose! What about talking to somebody about the film that hasn’t heard of it? I really have no impulse to tell anybody about it, honestly. Does this suck you in, though? Maybe in certain parts, but definitely not throughout.
SPECIALTY SCORE – 40/50
Kids – 10|Family – 5|Comedy – 10|Action – 5|Halfway Decent – 10
Now, onto the specialty questions that I asked before seeing the film. As with most kids films, I ask how it works for both the kids and the adults. Without a doubt, I think this film works really well with kids because the subject matter. It also worked out really well for me as a parent, but I’m the kind of person that actually respects a well-done poop joke. Not all parents are like that though, so I have to give the family category half points. Comedy, like I said before, was actually pretty well done, so I will give full points there. How about the action? I don’t know, I guess there’s action, but nothing I really thought of as great action, so I’ll give half points there. Was it halfway decent? Definitely. Full points there.
TOTAL – 80/100
Score # – 179