PEE-WEE’S BIG HOLIDAY (2016)

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Directed By: John Lee
Written By: Paul Reubens & Paul Rust
Cinematography By: Tim Orr
Editor: Jeff Buchanan 


Cast: Paul Reubens, Alia Shawkat, Richard Riehle, Leo Fitzpatrick, Brad William Henke, Robert R. Schafer, Stephanie Beatriz, Josh Myers, Diane Salinger, Joe Manganiello, David Arquette, Nicole Sullivan, Paul Rust, Lynne Marie Stewart

A fateful meeting with a mysterious stranger inspires Pee-wee Herman to take his first-ever holiday in this epic story of friendship and destiny.

Look, I am a Pee Wee Herman fan and grew up with the movies and the show. Now while this movie isn’t a total disaster it ends up being disappointing and I will even say it is the worst of all the pee wee Herman movies.

If anything his movie makes one appreciate the first film PEE WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE more. It was not only the first big screen ores station of the character, but also our introduction to a beginning filmmaker named Tim Burton whose vision feeds right into the normal but immature fantasy world of Pee Wee Herman.

John Moody, Lynne Marie Stewart, John Paragon and Diane Salinger also appeared in Pee-wee’s Big Adventure. Actress Diane Salinger, who played Simone in PEE-WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE, returns here as Penny King. She even reprises her famous line “au revoir”.

This film i will admit I was excited for. So once I watched it a strange thing happened. I wondered if the nostalgia had run out of me or was this really just disappointing. As truthfully this is purely a kids film. As there is nothing really adult or racy about it other then maybe all the characters are adults. There seems to be a FASTER PUSSYCAT KILL KILL KILL homage in the film or it could just be 1950’s style bad girls. As most of the film feels retro. Like stories you heard as a kid.

Now I have no problem with the innocence as long as it would have proved to actually be funny or humorous, but as the film goes along it just feels like filler and killing time. As we have seen him go on a road trip before. The last time was more interesting. This time around it seems more cute and bland.

There are plenty of moments that I thought were cute, but this feels like no evolution of the character. Nor does it feel like a fun ride. It continues the legacy and maybe introduces a new and younger audience to the character that allows them to have a film they can call their own with him. Through that’s about it.

As we watch him and the strange character he meets. Who come off again as mostly harmless. Though they don’t produce any memorable moments for the characters or for the film.

Scarily and impressively Paul Rubens looks the same as Pee Wee Herman after all these years. Along with wearing makeup and using tape on his face, visual effects were used to “de-age” Paul Reubens’s face. The Pee-wee films and the television series were used as references.

This film doesn’t acknowledge any of the films that came before it. As always he has a new residence and just as in the first film has a specific wake up ritual. That is not as impressive or fun as that film. Which makes it seem like it was trying to pay homage bit came off rather weakly.

I don’t know if it’s the script or the direction, but this film while sweet feels disposable or not as special as the other films. Kind of like the more modern Muppet films as of late. They are fun, but feel like they are missing something. Though still come close to capturing their original spirit then this film. Which feels like it is overcome with a niceness and sweetness that feels more pushed on the audience and manufactured.

It’s nice seeing Joe Manganiello playing in a non-sexual film that doesn’t depend on his body or sex appeal and let’s him show a goofy side. As he plays a version of himself and seems game for whatever is thrown at him. Now it would be easy to look at the chemistry between him and pee wee as somewhat homo erotic, but as the film presents them as having more little boy sensibilities. It is more about friendship and finding a connection with one another that is hard for each of them to find in the world. So in the end the film Becomes a road movie that is at heart a bro-mance movie that truly becomes the definition of that term and genre.

I don’t hate the film or really even dislike it. It just comes off as bland and a bit strange. Where I feel like is this really what we waited for all these years? It seems like a children’s film that is aimed at adults? Or is it a grown up film made for kids?

I don’t think the film will upset anyone or really be hated by anyone. They will either love it, like it just come away more disappointed than anything

GRADE: C-

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