One thing I asked myself as I was easing into my seat at the theater was "Is anyone clamoring for another Crocodile Dundee movie?" I realize that for a little while there, all things Australian were in again, but even that fad's kind of passed now. In fact, I thought 'ol Mick Dundee had just about faded into pop culture history without completely embarrassing himself (Suburu commercials aside). Looks like I was a little premature in my thinking. "Is anyone clamoring for another Crocodile Dundee movie?" Yes: Crocodile Dundee.
Rather, I should say, Paul Hogan. He produced the film, starred in it, fought for it. I get the feeling he isn't looking forward to going gently into that good night. Well, I say good for him. Crocodile Dundee wouldn't give up simply because no one was interested in him or his adventures anymore, and neither should Paul. I just wish he could have made a better movie. Crocodile Dundee was a good movie. It was interesting, funny, and had a very charming leading man. Crocodile Dundee II was ok. Typical sequel fare, but not awful either. Crocodile Dundee In Los Angeles is just sad. You want to like it, but it's just not a very good movie.
I think people will go to see this movie (the theater where I went was packed), not because they really care anything about the movie, but because they like Hogan. He's kind of like a friend who gets sucked into Amway and asks you to buy something from him. You don't care about the product, but you buy it because he's your friend and you feel bad for him having to peddle crap. That's how the crowd where I went was. There were some friendly laughs throughout the movie, but nobody was falling out of their chair. I get the idea that people were just glad when it was over and they didn't have to pretend anymore.
Paul Hogan as Mick Dundee and Linda Kozlowski as Sue Charleton in Paramount's Crocodile Dundee In Los Angeles - 2001
Photo by Jason Boland
Paul Hogan's not a particularly bad actor, but he just plays one character, so he should have it down. I didn't have any problems with his performance per se, but unfortunately he's not the only actor in the movie. Linda Kozlowski is terrible. She's just a bad actress. Have you ever seen her in any other movie? If she weren't actually married to Mick himself, she wouldn't be in this one. The other actors consist of the usual gang of Australian misfits and the usual gang of cartoon baddies, all performing at a depth not usually seen outside after school specials.
The whole film really felt like it should have been the ABC Movie of the Week. The story goes something like this: Mick "Crocodile" Dundee runs a tourist business in Walkabout Creek, Australia. A newspaper job opens at the Los Angeles branch of the paper that's owned by Linda's father and she decides to take it. The whole clan (they have a son now) moves to LA and Mick busts a group of corrupt movie studio execs. Typical Dundee fare. Everything about this movie is typical. There's the tired old Dundee getting mugged scene. There's also the old Dundee-hypnotizing-the-animals scene, and the old Dundee-confused-by-modern-technology bit. The list goes on. It even feels like a throwback to the 80's. That makes sense; the first movie was made over fifteen years ago and the second is thirteen years old. Even though the writers tried to interject some very PC attitudes on the sanctity of animals, everything about Crocodile Dundee just screams 1985. The movie is ultimately just a hodge podge of things you've already seen multiple times in the other two movies.
Aside from the subpar acting and the dumb storyline, there were several things that left me scratching my head. For one, these people fly back and forth to Australia like it was nothing. One scene in the film involves Dundee trying to find a nanny for his son. Naturally, instead of just finding someone local, he brings in colorful Jacko from Walkabout Creek to do the job. Isn't that like 30 hours on a plane and about $8,000? Who would do that? Also, this film features some bizarre and pointless cameos. George Hamilton shows up as an enema afficionado, and Paul Rodriguez (major 80's throwback) has a two scenes as a friend/extra. Mike Tyson shows up as himself doing relaxation exercise. He gives Mick a lesson in nonviolent anger management. Hit me over the head with that joke.
I really hate panning this movie (Dundee's like a family friend) but I can say that it's nowhere near as bad as Tomcats. I realize that's not saying much, but it's definitely inoffensive. It's a good movie for families, as long as you're not expecting too much. Kids would probably get a kick out of the crocodile scenes and you won't have to feel like you're corrupting them by taking them to see it. In fact, they should give Hogan his own Saturday morning show. That way, he could be working and I wouldn't have to feel bad for trashing his movie. Grade: C-
Crocodile Dundee In Los Angeles is rated PG.
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