I've known about this silly movie since around the time it was released, but I didn't have the "pleasure" of watching it until recently. Before I found it on YouTube, though, I'd almost forgotten that it existed; I also forgot (or never knew in the first place) that Brendan Fraser was in it (the same goes for Sean Astin).
Anyhow, not only is Fraser in 'Encino Man' -- he PLAYS the "Encino Man." Well, assuming "Encino Man" refers to the caveman (*roll eyes*) that two high-school dorks (played by Astin and -- ugh -- Pauly Shore) "realistically" find buried in Astin's character's backyard one day.
The two "teens" name their new caveman (which they more-or-less treat as some pet) "Link" and tell Astin's character's parents that he's an exchange student from "Estonia." They also enroll him in their school (somehow, "Link" is supposed to be their ticket to popularity). Of course, Link himself becomes popular; and, of course, nobody seems to think it's weird that he speaks in grunts and acts... like a caveman.
It's all as stupid as it sounds; but it's also VERY "early 90's", which makes it somewhat entertaining. I hated all of the ridiculous phrases (i.e. "don't wheeze the juice") that Pauly Shore's character kept saying; and I found Shore irritating overall (though I expected as much). However, Sean Astin is fine in his role (he makes a convincing dork) and Fraser is... whatever as Link. I didn't exactly find him hilarious, but "Link" isn't as annoying as he potentially could have been (he barely has any actual lines; he basically just acts like a dumb caveman throughout the movie... which I suppose is the point. His "I'll be back" line -- a la the Terminator -- at that convenience store was just dumb, though.)
I will also admit that I snickered at a few of the scenes with all three lead actors (such as the one where Shore and Astin show "Link" fire from a lighter to distract him). Plus, I'm usually at least a little amused by "spontaneous" dances that were obviously choreographed -- and yes, there's one of those in here.
Ultimately, 'Encino Man' is just a VERY stupid "90's movie", not to be taken seriously. Even as far as silly 90's teen movies go, it's far from the best I've seen; but it isn't the worst, either (it's a little *too* ridiculous to give a high rating to, but it basically passes the time). I'll go ahead and grant it two stars (4/10) -- mostly for the nostalgic factor.