13 years after the last time Antipodean rogue Mick ‘Crocodile’ Dundee graced our screens, financially troubled writer/star Paul Hogan dragged him back from the outback for another big screen adventure. In fact, I was somewhat surprised to see this even get a big screen release back in 2001, it seemed like a film that absolutely nobody would really care to see at the cinema and from Hogan’s cheese-eating grin on the poster I couldn’t imagine anyone being charmed a-new bar the DTV curio-crowd. Saying all that though, and despite never being a huge fan of the first two Crocodile Dundee flicks I was oddly eager to see this film and along with two friends went to a near empty cinema on opening weekend.
Perhaps it’s that advertising adage come true that film is better with friends, but I had an absolute blast watching this sequel no one expected, let alone wanted; and certain scenes from the film continue to be quoted and illict silly, giggles from me and my friends. Indeed, what this third film has in spades is a sense of dopey joy, a whimsical and big-hearted attitude that even sees fit to prempt The Hangover by featuring a self-effacing and baffling Mike Tyson cameo.
Hogan is on fine form (and in pretty good shape, though there’s far more funny than fights here) as he bonds with his surprisingly not irritating son (take note Indiana Jones) and best mate Jacko. There’s some sort of crime plot about an evil movie studio or something, but it is completely moot even in the eyes of uncredited co-writer Hogan and director Simon Wincer (the guy behind equally cheesy under-rated retro comic flop The Phantom). Instead the film basks in the laidback, fish-out-of-water antics of a bushman in Tinseltown taking in almost every single West Coast and Aussie cliche along the way with the kind of winsome innocence as to render even the lamest of jokes worthy of a grin and groan.
Unlike other recent Guilty Pleasures, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles is happy to try nothing new, it feels even more dated than either of its 80s set predecessors, but in these gritty, darker, edgier sequel times it’s so refreshing to have a film that relies on scraps, pratfalls and jokes as predictable as an aborigine with a mobile phone.
© BRWC 2010.
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