Saturday, March 25, 2017

Encino Man - 2 stars out of 10

Encino Man - 2 stars out of 10

“Encino Man” is sooooo 90’s.  It has everything that you would expect from a cheesy 90’s comedy including various montages of a cavemen’s antics in modern society (most stereotypically at an amusement park).  We also get to see the caveman placed into a high school setting where he inevitably becomes popular, a museum where he sees his ancestors, and he even hijacks a car that ends up driving sideways, balanced on two wheels.  And of course, no 90’s high school film is complete without a prom scene.  It subscribes to the dumb comedy formula established by “Wayne’s World” but lacks the creativity and originality of its predecessors.  Imagine the classic mall sequence from “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” for 90-minutes with only one character.  The 33-day shooting schedule shows through hastily shot scenes and a lack of acting finesse.  If you think that Brendan Fraser is overly slapstick as George of the Jungle, you haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen him acting like a caveman that can barely speak a word.  One of the biggest issues that people have with the film is Pauly Shore.  I actually don’t mind him since the majority of the film matches his signature airheadedness.  It’s amazing that people see his films and just accept his personality as typical of the 90’s.  More than anything, it helps me to better appreciate Shore’s character in “A Goofy Movie.”  Sean Astin makes an okay protagonist but the real standout is Megan Ward as she makes “Robyn” into a genuinely likable character, something that is difficult to find in this story.  “Encino Man” serves as evidence that an entire generation just accepted films comprised of random sequential montages and dance sequences loosely tied together by a plot.  If you want to see an entertaining brainless comedy, stick to “Bill and Ted” or “Billy Madison.”

[Pictured: "Encino Man" hits every 90's stereotype you can imagine, including a montage at an amusement park and the casting of Pauly Shore]

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