It never hurts to go back in time just a little bit to truly explore where the art form of the moving image has gone, and to see if it still holds up today. Now available in an exclusive double feature double pack we go all the way back to the year 1986 as that year's favorite fish out of water explained to us 'That's not a knife...THATS A KNIFE'.
Inspired by the real life antics Rodney Ansell and his story of survival in the remote Australian outback for 56 days, "Crocodile Dundee" was a modest comedy that ended up becoming a global cinematic phenomenon that inspired not only one but two sequels, and now "Crocodile Dundee" and "Crocodile Dundee II" are now available on Blu-Ray in the same set for one low price from retailers everywhere, begging the ultimate question to see if they hold up as well now as they did then.
Michael J Crocodile Dundee (Paul Hogan)is a free spirited, rugged Australian man who hunts crocodile's with his bare hands , stares down massive water buffaloes and can drink anyone under the table in the some of the most harshest conditions on the face of the earth, however this rugged every man is about to face the ultimate test, a trip to jungle known as New York City when the beautiful and tenacious reporter Sue Charlton (Linda Kozlowski) talks him out of the outback and into the big city and she's about to get more then she bargained for as this 'Wonder from Down Under' gives the city that never sleeps a run for its money.
While it's got moments that are so incredibly dated, "Crocodile Dundee" still puts a smile audiences as it plays up the fish out of water romance story to an absolute tee.
Director Peter Farman is a serviceable Australian director who handled the material well enough even though the pacing of it all was ultimately a little uneven, far too much Act One and not nearly enough Act Three. The script which was co-written by Hogan himself has a good sense of comedic timing and even the jokes that aren't overtly 80's tinged still manage to land on the mark reasonably well.
It's the only legitimate part that has ever brought him any fame, but Paul Hogan really ran with the role of Michael J Dundee with aplomb, and even though he never really branched out from this career defining role, it was one that he milked for all it's worth.
At the end of that day, "Crocodile Dundee" is a cute but dated piece of 80's comedy that still gets a couple of laughs 28 years later.
3 out of 5 stars.
Crocodile Dundee II
In "Crocodile Dundee II" just as our favorite, outrageously eccentric Australian looks like he's settling into city life in the Big Apple, he and Sue get targeted for death by a group of vicious drug dealers as an old friend of Sue puts them both in the line of fire with some evidence that would take down an entire drug cartel. Dundee decides that the only way to even the odds is to get these slimy big city hoods on his turf in the dangerous wiles of the Australian Outback, where if you make a wrong step, Down Under could just as easily mean something else entirely.
This is where the quality starts to fall off of a cliff, because turning "Crocodile Dundee II" into a half baked crime thriller that barely generated any laughs was just an ill conceived idea that never quite rose above being cute.
Director John Cornell in what was his first film was smart enough to not try and directly ape the beats from the first film, but it is such a terribly forced and unnatural premise that we never genuinely buy into anything that is going on. The pacing is slightly better than the first film but it never really goes anywhere as it never gels, even when they are back in Australia as it is all so farfetched, it's just hard to genuinely give a damn. The script from Paul & Brett Hogan takes the character from rugged everyman, to borderline action hero, and it just never works.
From an acting standpoint, no one really ventures outside of their comfort zones and while it's not laughably bad by any stretch, "Crocodile Dundee II" just plays like an incredibly flat story that removed the charm of the first one and replaced with unremarkable tension.
2 out of 5 stars.
"Crocodile Dundee/Crocodile Dundee II" is now available for purchase from all major retailers.