Picks and Pans Review: Encino Man
Sean Astin, Brendan Fraser, Pauly Shore
Those between the ages of 6 and 17 will probably think this empty-brained, summertime goofball comedy is a hoot, while older viewers may find themselves feeling really old and out of it and happy to be that way.
This fish-out-of-water story features a frozen Cro-Magnon teen, Fraser, dug up in an Encino, Calif., pool excavation and brought back to life by two nerdy high school seniors, Astin (Memphis Belle) and Shore, MTV’s dweeb-in-residence. They christen him Linkovitch (as in “missing link”) Chomofsky and tell everybody he’s an exchange student from Estonia. Kids will cackle away at such sure-to-please sights as Link munching on a formaldehyded frog in biology class.
Shore transfers his MTV vocabulary (“fundage” for money, “fresh nugs” for babes) and spaced-elf appeal from TV to the big screen intact. Astin, the son of Patty Duke and John Astin, registers less strongly, while Eraser, as the caveteen, grunts and lurches acceptably. Les Mayfield, in his feature film debut, directs with no discernible flair. (PG)