Bud-dy! Aren’t bad movies cool sometimes? This film is so much of a dud, yet it’s enjoyable in a sneaky way. You know it’s gonna be stupid, and it is, but you still grin through it. Sean Astin stars as a boring, annoying, self-conscious loser. He’s finishing high school in Encino, California, and he’s saddened by the fact that he never achieved to become popular. His best friend Stoney is also an outsider, but he’s chill with it. Played by Pauly Shore, the guy’s a real goofball, as dopey as it gets. It’s a real cool character, with his crummy scooter, his love for burritos and junk food and his party-loving attitude. And what about the way he over pro-noun-ces everything, like bud-dy, or aah-ooh, or this little finger thing he does. The pair are confronted to various not-that-interesting stuff in school, like the babe Dave has a crush on, or the rude jackass jock who makes their life hell.
Things change drastically when David digs up a Cro-Magnon man from his backyard who’s been frozen for thousands of years. They decide to try and turn him into a more or less typical teenage dude but obviously, he has trouble fitting in. So the film is not only a high school comedy but also a fish-out-of-water story. And who better to star as the clueless caveman than Brendan Fraser, an amazing physical actor. Not all of the jokes are fall-outta-your-seat funny, but the film is amusing throughout. I couldn’t tell you how bad I hate Astin’s character, but Shore is a very entertaing performer and Fraser is so clueless and enthusiast that you can’t help liking him. I dug watching him mimicking Shore’s spaced out lingo, jumping all over the place and dancing like there’s no tomorrow. The direction isn’t really tight, but the film’s got energy and I liked the cheesy but cool tunes by Def Leppard, Edgar Winter, Tone Loc, Vince Neil and Right Said Fred. “Encino Man” is far from being a great film, but if you liked “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” and the “Wayne’s World” flicks, you should get guilty pleasure out of it.