Here in 2016, we find Pee Wee pretty much the same person as he was 30 years ago. It’s amazing to think that it’s been that long since we last saw everyone’s favorite boy-man in action. This made-for-Netflix film fits right in with the universe created from his earlier adventures. The usual ingredients are here including the silliness you are probably imagining along with some faces from the past and a whole new road trip for our intrepid hero.
It all begins when Pee Wee runs into Joe Manganiello (as himself) in his hometown. They immediately becomes fast friends (as most do when they meet Pee Wee) with Joe inviting him back to NYC to attend his birthday party. Pee Wee has just 5 days to get to Manhattan for the big party and the quest begins! From there on it’s pretty much the antics you’re anticipating and perhaps even hoping for.
The film is fun and wacky and one of those things you watch just because it’s fun and wacky. The production is tightly put together with a slick production atheistic accompanied by a raucous soundtrack from Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo fame. Paul Reubens co-wrote the screenplay with Judd Apatow serving as one of the producers.
Reubens is enjoyable to watch and hasn’t really skipped a beat since the last time he donned the red bowtie. I did notice some subtle moments where he seemed like an older, slightly crankier version of himself. But wow, it has been 3 decades and for the most part, he’s aging pretty well, this in contrast to the train wreck that was Dumb and Dumber To by comparison.
If you enjoy the character and liked the first films, you’ll have a good time with this one. It’s on Netflix.
reviewed by Sean McKnight