It’s been 28 years since Pee-wee has had his own movie (1988’s Big Top Pee-wee), and the world’s happiest man child has not lost a step.
Paul Reubens still effortlessly slides into his alter ego Pee-wee, even as he gets deep into his sixties. That’s right, Pee Wee Herman is almost 64 years old. That’s almost as old as Paul McCartney. He’s as nimble, as joyous, and as fun as he was when he made his big screen headliner debut in Tim Burton’s Pee-wee’s Big Adventure 31 years ago.
The new film, produced by Judd Apatow and directed by John Lee, doesn’t quite have the visual exuberance to match Pee-wee’s bravado, but the story (written by Reubens and Paul Rust) breezes right along.
Pee-wee meets a big screen movie star (Joe Manganiello of True Blood, playing himself) while working in a diner in his all American town. The two hit it off, and Joe invites him to his big birthday bash in New York City. This means a road trip for Pee-wee, during which he meets up with a crazy guy in the woods, a crazy lady with a flying car, and winds up at the bottom of a well.
Again, the movie has some dull production values, but Reubens elevates things so that it really isn’t that much of a problem.
Plus, Pee-wee’s car is badass.
Hopefully, this will be the start of some more adventures for Pee-wee. He’s clearly still got it. Look for Lynne Marie Stewart, Simone from Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, in a small but pivotal role. (Currently streaming on Netflix).