Five Underrated Brendan Fraser Performances
Once upon a time, Brendan Fraser was a star on the rise after appearing in hits like George of the Jungle and The Mummy where he displayed a knack for blending heroic bravado with deft comedy.
Then, one day, the man simply fell off the map. Last I saw, he was battling insane animals alongside Brooke Shields in Furry Vengeance.
Now, with news that Fraser will appear in and his recent role in Doom Patrol, there’s hope that our once budding superstar will return to prominence once more. After all, the man can do it all and has displayed his range in a number of overlooked performances.
That said, here are five underrated Brendan Fraser performances that demonstrate why he deserves more roles on the big screen.
Blast from the Past
For some reason, Fraser was stuck playing do-gooders struggling to find their place in society. Case in point: the 1999 fish-out-of-water tale Blast from the Past in which Fraser plays Adam, a young man who emerges from a bomb shelter after 35 years and struggles to adapt to modern society. Cute, lighthearted, but ultimately forgettable, Blast from the Past again demonstrates Fraser’s talent for adroitly balancing comedy and drama.
Gods and Monsters
Those seeking Fraser’s dramatic sensibilities need only check out Bill Condon’s fantastic 1998 drama Gods and Monsters, which revolves around the final days of Frankenstein director James Whale, as portrayed by Ian McKellen. While the film mostly serves as a showcase for the future Lord of the Rings star, Fraser more than holds his own as Whale’s gardener and on and off again friend.
Fraser has a blast playing multiple versions of himself in Harold Ramis’ underrated 2000 comedy which pits the actor against Elizabeth Hurley’s sexy Devil. No, really, she’s literally the Devil. Her plan? To grant Fraser’s character seven wishes in order to snare the girl of his dreams in exchange for his soul.
The film never fully lives up to its clever premise, but Fraser’s hilarious go-for-broke performance is definitely worth your time.
Another underrated film on Fraser’s resume is the drama School Ties starring a heap of eventual movie stars, namely Matt Damon, Chris O’Donnell, and Ben Affleck. Directed by Robert Mandel, the flick focuses on David Greene (Fraser) a young football star who faces public ridicule because of his Jewish background. It shows that Fraser could hold his own in a film with other great actors.
The Mummy Returns
Sure, The Mummy Returns doesn’t quite match the quality of Stephen Sommers’ terrific 1999 original, but Fraser’s pitch-perfect performance as the heroic Rick O’Connell keeps the bloated sequel afloat even as it dips precariously close to insane levels of, well, insanity!
BONUS: Encino Man
Well, maybe it’s not underrated, but I couldn’t resist putting it on the list.
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