The opening is hilarious, but it also sets the bar extremely high for whatever may follow.... The film doesn’t always hit that bar, but it comes close enough times to make “Pee-wee’s Big Holiday” a holiday for viewers.
It's a good movie, though not exactly a great movie, it's not too bad of a movie. I guess if I have some issues with it, it's that it hits most of the same notes as Pee-Wee's big adventure, but there is enough variation to make it flavorful. So all I can really say is... watch it for yourself.
This is a movie more about friendship and acceptance than anything else, and Pee-wee seeing so much of himself in someone like Manganiello is a ridiculously silly motor that gets the story moving quickly.
The results are mostly pleasing and occasionally very funny (particularly whenever Manganiello pops up and Pee-wee tries to pronounce his name). But they also feel very familiar, something that flies in the face of the movie’s key theme about reinvention.
The biggest surprise, frankly, might be that the funniest person here is frequently Manganiello. Indeed, the mere visual juxtaposition of the towering “Magic Mike” star and Reubens in the same frame together is practically a special effect in itself.
It's a fun little movie that really hearkens back to the good ol' days of Pee Wee. Sure, he's a little bit grumpier and his voice is quite a bit rougher, but ultimately the real magic of Pee Wee Herman has always been it's theme: the idea that nearly everyone you might meet in your life is ultimately a good person, even if they are a little misunderstood sometimes. It's a pretty refreshing when most other media we consume today tries to tell us pretty much the opposite.
Watch it if you're a fan of Pee Wee or if you're just in the mood for something light and feel-good.
Pee Wee's back! As a fan who grew up with Pee Wee's Playhouse and the Burton film, I was excited (and apprehensive) about how Netflix's latest revival of an 80's staple would come out. The result: maybe not an
all-time classic, but consistently charming and a must-see for fans of the character.
Reubens still looks the part amazingly well given the amount of time that's gone by, to the point where you can largely ignore if not completely fail to notice his age. The movie largely disregards his past incarnations, more or less treating things as if we're meeting him for the first time, though a few sly, understated references to Pee Wee's Big Adventure are thrown in. If time has changed anything it's that the trademark shrillness in Pee Wee's voice has smoothed out with age, and has generally dropped by a register. And while he does less shouting this time around, he's still got that unnerving ability to deliver a venemous pause with eyes narrowed, or wicked one-liners muttered under his breath, especially in the first act before the film starts to give most of the jokes to the supporting characters, most of whom come and go pretty quickly. Whether individual bits land or not will depend on the viewer. The cast does exhibit one of the things Pee Wee's Playhouse was known for: an effortless inclusivity of any and all genders, types, and oddballs without being preachy or showy about it.
Manganiello (playing himself) is a delightfully inspired casting choice as Pee Wee's bro-crush. His Hollywood uber-man look and deadpan delivery perfectly capture the sort of kitschy oddity Pee Wee's universe abounds in. He arguably steals the show when he's around through sheer juxtaposition against Pee Wee.
Still, it's mildly disappointing that the writers play things so safe, more or less recreating the road trip scenario from Big Adventure. Even as a re-tread, the premise this time rings off: if there was ever a character who seemed willing and enthusiastic about experiencing things and "living a little" as Mangiello inspires him to do here, it's Pee Wee Herman! Having him play a relative introvert here is odd, and it robs him of a lot of his manic energy; instead, he spends most of the movie mildly anxious and oddly passive. Part of Pee-Wee's charm was how if there was a cage that needed to be rattled or a lesson about being yourself to be learned, HE was the one that pushed it (if inadvertently). It all feels a bit un-surreal, which is too bad given that his fans have always loved Pee Wee for cleverly pushing the envelope.
While it would have been fun to see Pee Wee in a more novel situation, the film gets credit for not devolving into a parade of self-references, as sequels and reboots in comedy so often do. This won't end up on a lot of all-time favourites lists, but you'll probably find few fans of the character who won't find it passably charming and an overall welcome comeback. I'd expect a lot of 6's and 7's in these reviews.
First off, it's good to have Paul Reubens and his creation Pee Wee Herman back. Pee Wee's Big Holiday is almost a reboot of Tim Burton's Big Adventure as it's basically another road trip and the characters Pee Wee crosses paths with. It opens with a dream sequence (after an opening where I swear Mark Mothersbaugh was channeling James Horner's Star Trek 2 score) featuring an alien that looks a lot like the rubber puppet from Mac and Me. Pee Wee loves the town he lives and works in, but, as his dream reveals, he secretly wishes to leave. Pee Wee's morning ritual is as Rube Goldberg as the original, but is expanded to include his neighbors and neighborhood. And everyone loves Pee Wee. That's the secret to the characters charm. As juvenile as he can become, there's a sweetness to the character that everyone can love. And Joe Manganiello, playing himself, bonds with Pee Wee (who murders his name as Joe Manga-blah-blello) after sharing a love of root beer barrel candy and appreciating Pee Wee's innocence. He invites Pee Wee to his New York birthday bash, and the road trip is off. On the way he meets a female trio of bank robbers right out of a Russ Meyer movie, an Amish village, a farmer with a bevy of daughters, and more. I would deduct this by a point or two because it so much like the original and some jokes go on a bit long, but just seeing Paul Reubens looking like he stepped out of a late eighties time machine is reason for a positive review.
As someone who loved Pee Wee's Big Adventure from three decades ago I expected that this movie wouldn't live up to its predecessor. However, I was pleased to see that no only was this movie beyond better than Big Top Pee Wee, it was also pretty funny and true to feel of the original movie.
The thing that really hurt the overall effect of the movie was Rueben's portrayal of the iconic Pee Wee Herman. At times it felt like Reuben's was trying to imitate a character, rather than be the character (which he created and animated for many years). The lack **** delivery is vital for such an animated and unbelievable character to become believable.
The other critique I have was the casting and storyline centered around Joe Manganiello. It would have been more fun to have a 80's star cast. His character just feels very anachronistic and cheapened the quirky, psychedelic, and kitsch aesthetic.
With those two criticism aside, I enjoyed most other aspects of the movie. It was particularly nice to see Simone make a return to say Au Revoir one more time. The nostalgic music and cinematography were matched with a new quirky charters. We never do quite get those memorable moments like the Tequila Dance. I was also missing the claymation!
This movie was okay, which was a huge surprise, despite exceeding expectations there were many missed opportunities, but if you loved the original you will probably get a kick out of this one - the one time will be more than enough though.