Every 80s and 90s kid grew up with Pee Wee Herman and you either loved him or hated him unless you were that one kid whose parents would not let you watch the shows or the movies and you know why. Pee Wee’s Big Adventure was one of my favorite movies growing up but I could never seem to get into the show. Big Top Pee Wee was mediocre. They had announced a new Pee Wee movie more than a decade ago, even dispelling it as a rumor at one time or another. When the movie finally had a name and an air date on Netflix, the child in me could not wait. Once I finally convinced my boyfriend to sit down and watch it with me this weekend, I made popcorn and settled in for the laughter and the fun.
Pee Wee, although zany in his own way, has a simple life in Fairville with no desire to do anything else. Any fan would be confused by this as his Big Adventure was a road trip across the US to find his bike. He HAS traveled. Does this movie take place before Big Adventure?
Joe Manganiello of True Blood and Magic Mike fame, shows up at the diner where Pee Wee works and they hit it off phenomenally. He invites Pee Wee to his birthday party in New York in four days. Pee Wee decides to drive there (because he has a car now) and meets a colorful cast of characters from a gang of girl bank robbers to the Amish. He gets to New York only to fall down a well. Joe is heartbroken Pee Wee does not come to his party but once he finds out he is stuck in a well, he rescues him and they have a party of their own on the roof of his apartment building.
The movie had promise and there are a few laugh-out-loud moments, but it falls short. It contradicts Big Adventure, overuses gags, and ends up being just a little too silly at times. I enjoyed it but fans were waiting on something big. It is nowhere near as big a disappointment as Duke Nukem Forever but after so many years of waiting, I was not wowed.
Still, I urge you to see it if you remotely liked Big Adventure. It is on Netflix.