Pee-Wee Herman joins the circus when a giant storm deposits a big top tent — and the menagerie to go with it — in his front yard. Together, Pee-Wee, the animals and a troupe of circus performers put on the best show ever.
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Pretty much all the magic and whimsy have been sucked dry in this lame sequel to the 'Big Adventure'. Scripting, or lack thereof, is just awful pitting our hero and a travelling circus against the townspeople who inexplicably hate Pee-Wee. Most look embarrassed to be in the film; and well they should. Talk about a franchise killer.
The decision to make Pee-wee sexually aware was both strange and ill-conceived. It doesn't work. That said, the broader commentary on small town persecution/xenophobia/the marginalisation of the outsider is more successful, while the circus setting and its notion of community is perfect. If it fails due to the lack of a satisfying conclusion, it should still score points for Steven Poster's beautiful cinematography.
After the Burton/Reubens joint & the gleeful anarchy of the Playhouse comes the flat sequel that misses the magic & whimsical energy that Pee Wee normally provides. But despite a solid beginning, the "realism" just doesn't work as Reubens makes his character "grow up." I can understand the need for romance & bigger stakes, but the last thing you want to do in a Pee Wee adventure is check your watch.