Children’s book comes to the big screen in hilarious adventure that will play to kids and adults

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“Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie” is foremost a marvelous tribute to imagination and friendship, and secondarily a silly superhero movie with giant, evil toilets and a villain who goes by the name Professor Poopypants.

As anyone with a child born in the last 20 years knows, Captain Underpants is a whitey-tighty clad superhero who has starred in a series of adventures spread out over 12 children’s books. “The First Epic Movie” brings Mr. Underpants to the big screen, it will make adults and kids chuckle openly and often.

The clever story is less about Captain Underpants himself than it is about George (voice of Kevin Hart) and Harold (Thomas Middleditch), best friends in the fourth grade who make comics (George writes, Harold illustrates) when they’re not pulling major pranks at their school.

Those pranks frequently land them in the office of Principal Krupp (Ed Helms), who takes sadistic glee in torturing his students. (A sign on his desk reads “Hope Dies Here.”) Using a cheap cereal box toy, George and Harold hypnotize Krupp into believing he’s Captain Underpants, a superhero they’ve invented, and things go haywire from there. That’s when Poopypants (Nick Kroll doing Christoph Waltz) steps in with his evil plan (and his team of havoc-causing toilets).

“The First Epic Movie” has a subversive streak and plenty of sight gags to keep adults entertained, and potty humor that’ll have kids splitting their sides. Director David Soren (“Turbo”) gives the film a colorful, lively look and knows to not overstay his welcome.

agraham@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2284

@grahamorama

‘Captain

Underpants: The First

Epic Movie’

GRADE: B+

Rated PG for mild rude humor throughout

Running time:

89 minutes

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