Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, Rated PG
Starring Kevin Hart, Ed Helms, Nick Kroll, Thomas Middleditch, Jordan Peele, Kristen Schaal
Austin Family Critical Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Austin Family Family-Friendly Rating: 4½ of 5 stars
Based on the popular children’s books by Dav Pilkey, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is silly fun in the best possible sense of the term. Because these books seem like they’ve been around forever (I adored them as a kid), it’s almost surprising it’s taken this long for a film adaptation to hit screens, especially when we’re on our fifth Pirates of the Caribbean movie at this point.
George (Kevin Hart) and Harold (Thomas Middleditch) are two young boys with wild imaginations that often land them in trouble. However, their creativity perhaps goes a little too far when they hypnotize their principal Mr. Krupp (Ed Helms) and turn him into one of their comic book creations, Captain Underpants.
The animation here is bright and boisterous, and the material light and completely innocuous. At a time when so many summer movies are big, bloated and lacking anything resembling fun, here is a movie that aims to entertain and provide a light-hearted escape from reality. It succeeds.
The Book of Henry (Opening June 16, Rated PG-13) – The new film from director Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World) looks like a wild ride. Jaeden Lieberher stars as Henry, a boy genius who convinces his mother (Naomi Watts) to help investigate the suspicious stepfather of his friend Christina. Perhaps because it doesn’t look like anything else coming out this summer, I’m keeping an eye out for this one.
Dunkirk (Opening July 21, Rated PG-13) – Speaking of summer originals, expect the first war movie from director Christopher Nolan to light up screens after a summer full of franchise disappointments. Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance and Kenneth Branagh star in this depiction of one of World War II’s most famous battles. See the film in 70MM where available – Nolan would prefer you watch it this way.
Jack Kyser is a graduate of Austin High School and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.