|Love is in the air between Joe Manganiello and Paul Ruebens in, Pee-Wee's Big Holiday|
Regardless of how some people feel about him, I have been an admirer of Paul Ruebens for a long time. He's one of those actors that I wish had had more opportunities to appear in films over the years. Put aside his personal life's hiccups (which he's allowed to have), and you'll see a man who loves to entertain. Pee-Wee Herman is of course his biggest persona, but I also love it when he plays different characters in movies, television, and video games. Sure he's popular for his roles on Murphy Brown, Mystery Men, and Blow, yet those aren't as memorable to me as his turn in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer film from 1992. His portrayal of Amilyn/Lefty the vampire, was hilarious and had me rooting for more ("You ruined my new jacket. Kill him a lot!"). It's not a great movie, but a sequel would've been worth it just to see him again. Hopefully this new film will get people back on the Pee-Wee train, so that we can get a little more than just a taste of Mr. Ruebens. While he's still young.
Major props goes out to the makeup department for making Paul look like a thirty year old Pee-Wee, and not a sixty year old one. That would be kinda creepy ("Ain't seen the paperboy in a while!"). With the same unnatural geriatric pep as Richard Simmons (Sweatin' to the Oldies), Ruebens returns to the small screen (cause NetFlix isn't in theaters) in Pee-Wee's Big Holiday; A film that I really didn't want, but am glad that they did it anyway. The same oddities and energy from the previous shows and movies, is ever present this time as well. However, this time around feels a touch more adult friendly and a tad less innocent. Herman himself is still the happy-go-lucky living incarnation of SpongeBob SquarePants that he's always been, but with senility comes anger. This Pee-Wee gets frustrated more easily than before, and his few mini-rages almost derails the film (made me uncomfortable). The humor itself is more giggle worthy than hilarious. There are a few laugh out loud moments, but they're unwelcomely balanced by some cricket chirping stupid ones as well. The thing that keeps this whole film afloat though, is the subtle/not-so-subtle love affair between Pee-wee and actor Joe Manganiello (Magic Mike), who plays himself. Whether it's currently happening or in a dream sequence, their scenes together are hilarious every single time. They're like two little kids who see joy in everything when they're together, and rain clouds when they're not. Pee-Wee's journey to get to Joe's birthday party in New York, is fraught with peril, hijincks, and bad afros. The weaker parts of the film come off as cutting room floor throwaways from Pee-Wee's Playhouse.
The parts that do work, work well. Like the couple of scenes with the 50's style bank robber chicks that take Pee-Wee hostage, or when he's at the farm. Jessica Pohly (Rake), Stephanie Beatriz (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), and Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development), are fun and sexy in a way that flows in a film such as this. Appearances from Richard Riehle (Office Space), Diane Salinger (Pee-Wee's Big Adventure), Brad William Henke (Fury), Nicole Sullivan (Mad TV), David Arquette (Buffy the Vampire Slayer 1992), and Hal Landon Jr. (Bill & Ted's 1 & 2), are all full of energy, just not all properly utilized. What really hurts this film the most, is that literally zero percent of any thing or one from the previous films and shows is mentioned. It's like Pee-Wee's newest adventure is in some kind of alternate universe. I understand that for legal reasons there's no connections, but who gives a shit?! They should have made it happen for the importance to the character.
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, of Pee-Wee's Big Holiday
The Good- The balloon scene had me laughing for days! Also, the dream sequences, the Manhattan rescue, and the horny farmer's daughters.
The Bad- Wasted moments like the snake farm, the caveman, the afro bus, and the flying car.
The Ugly- The absolutely retarded E.T. knockoff intro dream sequence, made me want to stop the film and play on my phone instead. It was supposed to be funny but...no.
Pee-Wee's Big Holiday is a welcome return to form for Paul Ruebens and his classic creation. I just wish that there had been some links to the past with the story and characters. This movie is worth seeing just for the Manganiello and balloon scenes alone. More for kids and Pee-Wee fans than anything. Remember, this is on NetFlix and not in the theaters. Of course, I sorta understand why Ruebens hasn't been invited back yet. What a bunch of "jerk offs". Ha Ha! (Pee-Wee laugh)
Rating- 5.5 out 10
Pee-wee's Big Holiday (2016)
1h 29min | Adventure, Comedy | 18 March 2016 (USA)
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.
Paul Reubens (screenplay), Paul Rust (screenplay)
Paul Reubens, Joe Maganiello