Brendan Fraser is having a strong comeback moment right now. He was recently cast in Killers of the Flower Moon, the Martin Scorsese movie with Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert DeNiro. The internet rejoiced at this news. Audiences have missed major appearances from the star who has had a quieter career over the last decade. Following up on the announcement of this next role, Brendan Fraser did a fan meetup online. The video went viral after the fan told him that the internet was happy for him and he teared up. Now, with all eyes on him, streaming services are looking to give audiences more of what they want to see. And so, YouTube Movies is streaming one of his earliest films for free, no subscription to anything required.
Encino Man can actually be easily compared to some of Brendan Fraser’s other popular films. Like George of the Jungle, Brendan Fraser starts Encino Man off in a loincloth and doing a lot of grunting for communication. Like Blast From the Past, he’s a man out of time. Yet, Encino Man is still one of his earliest roles. The movie was first released in 1992. He wouldn’t appear in George of the Jungle until 1997 and then audiences saw him in both The Mummy and Blast From the Past when they were released in 1999.
In this early performance, Brendan Fraser teamed up with Pauly Shore and Sean Astin. Fraser plays Link, a guy from the first ice age. After a cave in, he was frozen in time, until two California high school boys dig him up. Link is frozen in an ice block and placed in the garage, where he thaws under the heat of some space heaters. When the boys return home from school, Link has made a mess out of the house and left handprints on the walls.
Then, the boys of course start trying to make Brendan Fraser seem like a normal California high school boy, giving him a makeover and teaching him to speak English. The story becomes more of a high school romantic comedy, where the boys like the same girl and struggle to find ways to become popular, all while keeping the secret of Link’s ice age origins.
How did Encino Man do at the box office? On a budget of $7 million, the film earned back over $40 million, which were not bad returns at all. If fans were hopeful for a sequel, it never happened, but apparently, still isn’t off the table. In early 2021, Pauly Shore shared a photo of himself with Brendan Fraser on the set for Encino Man, and said that the trio would be happy to come back for Encino Man 2. He suggested that fans hit up Disney+ and make it happen. It’s hard to imagine what would happen in a sequel with the older actors, but whatever they come up with, it sounds like Pauly Shore would be in.
While the movie did well at the box office, and Pauly Shore would be happy to return, the audience reviews of this Brendan Fraser movie aren’t some of his best. Encino Man sits at a 17% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It holds a 5.8 on IMDb. These are hardly the marks of a movie that has held on with audiences today, so Encino Man 2 seems a lot less likely. Still, everyone has different tastes. If you’d like to check the teen comedy out, you can do so for free on YouTube movies.
If you’re looking to see more of Brendan Fraser these days, he’s been on Doom Patrol on HBO Max for the past couple of seasons as Robotman. In the past ten years, he’s never stopped working, just always been in more minor roles. In 2015, he had a run on a mini-series called Texas Rising that some have claimed was the start of his comeback. In the series, he played a soft-spoken Texas Ranger. He co-starred with Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Bill Paxton. His performance was well-reviewed and helped remind people that he was out there. He’ll soon be seen in Killers of the Flower Moon, which is expected to be released in 2022.