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Crocodile Dundee

Crocodile Dundee on DVD

One out of Three Ain't Bad?

Crocodile Dundee II

Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles

The first "Crocodile Dundee" movie was a sensation when it came out in 1986, making the character and its creator Paul Hogan household words.

It was a gentle and humorous "fish out of water" tale featuring a supposedly larger than life bushman from the Australian outback.

Mick Dundee is the best bushman there is, and word of his exploits gets to ace reporter Sue Charlton (Linda Kozlowski) who's just wrapping up an assignment "Down Under." She travels to Walkabout Creek, home of the legendary Mick, to find out what makes him tick and, hopefully, get another scoop.

As it turns out, Mick really is the best bushman around, but his exploits have been, er, enhanced through local folklore. Mick is definitely good at what he does, but he's also a bit of a tall tale teller who doesn't take himself or anything else too seriously.

Sue and Mick head into the bush to follow the trail of one of his adventures. Sue, the big city American girl, is the fish out of water here and as she realizes how out of place she is her fate becomes increasingly more into Mick's sure and steady hands.

She also feels herself getting more and more drawn to this crusty but kind-hearted character and doesn't really want to let him go. So she comes up with a scheme by which her newspaper brings Mick to New York City to experience life in the fast lane.

This is where the foot gets onto the other hand, and Mick is now the fish out of water. Making his way alone through New York, the good hearted innocent runs into hookers and muggers and generally pompous intelligentsia, but his quick wit and strength of character land him in good stead and endear him to most.

Meanwhile, Sue is really starting to fall for Mick, much to the chagrin of her arrogant, social climbing fiance.

Crocodile Dundee is a lighthearted delight that, while you may never slap your knees, will definitely put a broad smile onto your face. Hogan is extremely likable as Mick, as is Kozlowski (the two of whom became a real life item). The script, while a tad unbelievable, never rubs it into your face (unlike the two sequels, unfortunately).

The DVD is presented, as it should be, in anamorphic widescreen, 16x9 TV compatible, with Dolby Surround audio and the picture and sound quality are very good. Extras are limited to the trailer.

This is by far the best of the three films.

Crocodile Dundee, from Paramount Home Video
97 min, anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1), 16x9 TV compatible, Dolby Surround
Starring Paul Hogan, Linda Kozlowski, Mark Blum, David Gulpilil
Produced by John Cornell
Written by Paul Hogan, Ken Shadie, Directed by Peter Faiman

Crocodile Dundee II picks up shortly after the first movie ends. Mick Dundee is still living in New York, but getting antsy - so he starts looking for work.

Meanwhile, Sue's ex-husband, a photographer working in Colombia, runs afoul of a major drug lord and is killed - but not before he puts an incriminating roll of film into the mail and sends it to Sue.

This brings the power of the cartel down on Sue - and, though her, Mick.

And this is the film's failing. While there's a certain amount of the good natured "fish out of water" theme from the first film, most of the movie is more about "Mick Dundee, Superhero" as he singlehandedly tracks down the thugs and saves Sue's life. Who needs cops, we have Mick!

The action goes from New York to Australia again as Mick takes Sue back to where he's in control, making everyone else the fishes out of water. But the Superman theme continues and rather than having a gentle comedy as we did in the first movie this becomes a more serious fight for survival where the laughs take a back seat to the "adventure."

As an adventure the movie probably works okay, but if you're expecting "Crocodile Dundee 2," you may be disappointed despite the title). This is a much darker, much more serious movie and that's really its major shortcoming.

Oh sure, Mick and Sue are still likable enough, and we get to see a bit more of the charming Outback gang of Walkabout Creek than we did in "One," but that isn't enough to make up for what is in essence a completely different feeling movie.

The DVD is fine, however. It's in anamorphic widescreen, 16x9 TV compatible, with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround audio and the picture and sound quality are very good. You even get a bit of an extra this time: besides the trailer there's also a short featurette on the making of the film, though Hogan's comments about it being twice as good as the first one are liable to leave you scratching your heads and wondering why - besides the obvious paycheck and natural hype involved - he'd say such a silly thing.

Crocodile Dundee II, from Paramount Home Video
111 min, anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1), 16x9 TV compatible, Dolby Digital
Starring Paul Hogan, Linda Kozlowski, John Meillon
Produced by John Cornell and Jane Scott
Written by Paul Hogan and Brett Hogan, Directed by John Cornell

Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles could have and should have been another great fish out of water movie, but it only partially suceeds.

It opens with Mick and Sue and their son Mikey happily living the good life near Walkabout Creek, when Sue gets offered a chance to run a Los Angeles newspaper for a few months. She accepts and the trio jet off to La La Land for a new set of misadventures.

The movie starts fine - after all, what better place for a down home, down to earth kind of guy like Mick to be a fish out of water than Los Angeles? But the filmmakers make the same mistake they did in the second movie and threw in a major subplot surrounding a plot to cash in on a cache of stolen paintings. Mick once again finds himself a kind of undeputized cop, trying to get to the bottom of the mystery while saving Sue's life in the process.

On the whole, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles is much better than Crocodile Dundee II, but it doesn't come close to matching the first film. It's too bad; all the elements are there, but the humor keeps getting sidetracked by the "adventure" as Dundee brings a corrupt movie producer to justice.

Still, it's hard not to like Mick, and this time around we have another old boy from the Outback to kick around and that makes for some good moments as the much more "worldly" Mick shows him around LA. And Mick's LA misadventures, as he becomes a movie extra and generally finds his way around the City of Angels provides for some good times as well.

And you still have to like Paul Hogan and Linda Kozlowski in their roles, and "little Mikey" is fun to watch as well. But the dark moments overshadow the fun, and that's a shame.

The DVD is also presented in anamorphic widescreen, 16x9 TV compatible, with the best picture and Dolby Digital surround sound of the three. Interestingly, this movie is in 1.85:1 widescreen as opposed to the 2.35:1 aspect ratio of the others.

Extras include the trailer and a set of cast/crew interviews.

Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles, from Paramount Home Video
94 min, anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1), 16x9 TV compatible, Dolby Surround
Starring Paul Hogan, Linda Kozlowski, Jere Burns, Jonathan Banks, Aida Turturro and Paul Rodriguez
Produced by Lance Hool, Paul Hogan
Written by Matthew Berry & Eric Abrams, Directed by Simon Wincer


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Updated May 13, 2006