That’s his name don’t wear it out.
The word of the day is: relief. For fans (like me) that have been worried a sequel to 1985’s Pee Wee’s Big Adventure from a 63-year old Paul Reubens would be a sad, creepy or embarrassing bookend to the Pee Wee legacy — fear no more.
Pee Wee’s Big Holiday is a solid Judd Apatow production with a ton of laughs and just a few flaws. Surprisingly, none of those flaws are physical. Digital retouching has made Pee Wee visually timeless, and Reubens has energy to spare.
Similar to last year’s Star Wars and Jurassic Park reboots, Big Holiday hits the nostalgia button often by recreating similar moments. Unfortunately the road trip plot is too similar and begs too many comparisons to the groundbreaking eighties comedy.
Despite those missteps, Apatow (SuperBad, Stepbrothers) and Reubens know how to tap into a kid mindset to pull off sweet funny moments like a bromance with Joe Manganiello (Magic Mike) that totally works, and LOL moments from tantrums and screams that go too far to some comic gold hilarity with a balloon.
Although he’s no longer an innovator, a loner or a rebel, Reubens is still a comic genius who only needs a balloon and two minutes of screen time to deliver the biggest laugh of the year so far.
Simply put: For a nostalgic trip, Pee Wee fits into the suit just fine.
Award potential: Despite a score by Mark Mothersbaugh (Devo) and seamless visual effects to keep Pee Wee young, this is not awards bait.
The ten buck review: Worth ten bucks.