Brendan Fraser is a textbook example of a B-movie actor. The closest he has ever been in a serious role is ten minutes of screen time in 2005’s Oscar Winner, Crash. No, he’s not talented and his agent seems to have a keen eye for shit movies. And it didn’t help that among his first roles, were supporting ones in Paulie Shore vehicles (I guess you can call that a Pinto). Yes, this article has been written with the perspective that as a moviegoer, you have to look at the bright side, and see how a film, no matter what your original outlook on it is, can possibly be worthwhile. Yes, Fraser has a doozy of a list of bad movies, which includes titles like Monkey Bone, Dudley Do-Right, and George of the Jungle, with the occasional decent movie like Blast From the Past and Bedazzled. But what do all of these movies have in common? They’re comedies. Brendan Fraser and comedy shouldn’t even be put in the same sentence together.
I guess I should start getting to the point about why I’m defending the guy while I’m bashing him at the same time. He is not a total waste and can still serve a purpose. Put him in a comedy, and most likely, the film will tank. But put him in an adventure movie, and producers might just come away from the box office feeling pretty good. He’s just the kind of screen presence you need. He may be a one note character each time, but he’s got that note down to an exact science.
Through director Stephen Sommer’s throwbacks to Indiana Jones, The Mummy and The Mummy Returns, Fraser showed his existence in Hollywood could be useful. The words guilty pleasure immediately come to mind when I think about both movies. They’re both fun, and they’re fun because of Fraser and his creation of Rick O’Connell. He’s not in the same league of Harrison Ford, of course, but he’s certainly easy to watch. These are two movies I don’t mind revisiting every once in a while.
This is probably not saying much, but Fraser’s summer one-two punch of Journey to the Center of the Earth and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor could prove to be a step in the right direction for him. The former is already getting surprisingly good early reviews. And what have all of those reviewers said so far? That the movie is fun.
Fraser might have what it takes to become a summer movie star, provided he sticks to the action adventure genre. When he’s in adventure mode, he has the charm and the charisma to put a smile on your face. He nails one-liners, produces enough laughs and does some pretty impressive stunt work as well. Which is why I’m going to give Journey to the Center of the Earth and and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor a fighting chance, even though the latter doesn’t look too promising what with Rob Cohen filling the director’s chair for Stephen Sommers and Academy Award winner Rachel Weisz not being caught dead on the same continent of where the filming actually took place. I think Fraser will fit the bill, though. So if anything, I probably won’t blame him.