Captain Underpants – Film Review

Rating : 2.5 / 5 stars
What’s it about?
Captain Underpants is an animated adventure film directed by David Soren, with voice over work from Kevin Hart, Ed Helms, Nick Kroll and Thomas Middleditch among others.
The film follows the adventure of two inseparable best friends who always end up landing in trouble with the school principal due to their rebellious nature against the school rules. Fed up with their antics, the principal decides to split them up and put them into separate classes, when accidentally the boys manage to hypnotize him into thinking that he is Captain Underpants, a fictitious comic book hero that they made up during their free time. This leads to a madcap adventure where the boys have to try and control the principal from causing harm to himself and to others around him while thinking he is a superhero with unlimited power.
What’s Good?
The story of the film is adapted from a lesser known comic book property with the same name and is one of the most original stories that an animated film has outside of Pixar films. While the choice of animation may not be as rich looking as other films that we see, it has a certain zaniness and inventiveness to it that works for the most part. The humor is  good in parts, with some of the jokes managing to get good belly laughs out of you. Voiceover work is good and manages to keep the film from boring you during those intervals when the energy in the film drops.
What’s Not?
There are many instances in the film where the humor does not land. It will certainly not resonate with the children in the audience as it is surreal and bizarre.  This is the kind of film where both the children and the adults watching it will probably be undecided at the end as to whether they liked the film or not. Not all of the film makes sense as well. For example, the hypnosis part of the film is not very convincing as there is not much backstory about the ring and adds to a list of just-go-with-it plot devices that the film uses during its runtime.
Performances
The voice over work by the cast is good, although I must add that most of the voice over artists use their adult voices while voicing children. This can be distracting at times, but does not take away from the film itself. Kevin Hart and Thomas Middleditch bring out the zaniness of both their characters well. Ed Helms as Captain Underpants is funny. But the best voice over comes from Nick Kroll as Professor Poopypants. He brings out the madness of his character very well and makes for a great villain in this madcap adventure. Rest of the cast is good in their respective limited roles.
Final Word
A middling animated film that is good in parts, it can be watched on a lazy Sunday afternoon when one has time to kill

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