When a New York reporter plucks crocodile hunter Dundee from the Australian Outback for a visit to the Big Apple, it's a clash of cultures and a recipe for good-natured comedy as naïve Dundee negotiates the concrete jungle. Dundee proves that his instincts are quite useful in the city and adeptly handles everything from wily muggers to high-society snoots without breaking a sweat.
He went walkabout.
New York reporter Sue Charlton hears of a guy in the outback of Australia who survived an attack by a crocodile. For research she meets up with "Crocodile Mick Dundee" and spends time with him out in dangerous Bush Country. Finding a rapport during their time together, Sue convinces Mick to go back with her to New York, which brings interesting results as Mick becomes a big hit by treating the Big Apple, and all that comes his way, the same as he would the Outback.
Crocodile Dundee has a standard fish out of water comedy premise, yet with a number of truly funny sequences and an appealing turn from Paul Hogan as Dundee, it became a monster smash hit that the cinema watching public lapped up with glee. In a decade that is often considered or debated to be the worst for film, it may just be that cinema goers were desperate for a pick me up movie? Possibly, but undoubtedly Crocodile Dundee most assuredly is that type of escapist piece. However, to give that credence would, I feel, be doing it a disservice, for in spite of the rickety concept and the obviousness of where we will ultimately end up, it has bundles of earthy charm, a charm that many can identify with.
As Dundee goes about his way, meeting pimps, transsexuals and muggers et al, they are not only very funny scenes, they are also points of reference to the ever changing way of the Continents. Not that the film doesn't come dangerously close to falling into a sugary rom-com mire, but with a strong performance from Linda Kozlowski as Sue, and Hogan introducing an icon to 80s cinema, Crocodile Dundee safely hits the target that it was surely aiming for. Besides, the love story here is very easy to get on side with, to support it and hanker for this opposites attract coupling to work out.
Two sequels would follow, the first one was a retread reversal and just about passable, the second one, after a gap of 13 years, was bad and evidence that the joke had long since passed. Crocodile Dundee 86 holds up well as the escapist piece of cinema that it is. A nice film to revisit every other year, for it be simple, warm, and yes, I'll say it again, damn funny. 8/10
Paramount, Rimfire Films by Peter Faiman, Ken Shadie, John Cornell, Paul Hogan.
Stars: Paul Hogan, Linda Kozlowski, John Meillon, David Gulpilil.
Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Keywords: new york city prostitute hotel journalist culture clash subway crocodile wilderness knife tourist limousine poacher fish out of water city australian outback kangaroo
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