I didn’t really set out to review this movie. It was another film on my long list of films that I need to see, so I thought I’d get it out the way. However, my outrage was so great after finishing that I knew I needed to vent on my blog. While I’d rather watch a film about large reptiles invading Scotland, this is my account of “Crocodile” Dundee.
Sue (Linda Kozlowski), a New Yorker in Sydney, is a reporter, chasing up a lead on a story about an Australian daredevil who goes by the name of “Crocodile” Dundee (Paul Hogan). In the first half of the film, we see her travel to the Australian outback, nearly get eaten by a crocodile – *sigh* if only – and inevitably bond with her saviour. Mick Dundee is an interesting bloke, having never been to a city in his life, and unaware of the customs of modern life.
Sue asks Mick to come back to New York with him, and for the sake of the film he agrees. Roughly half an hour is devoted to watching Mick stumble around New York without a clue of what the locals think of his antics. We knew from the beginning of the film that Sue had a boyfriend, Richard (Mark Blum), and she continues to stay with him whilst occasionally flirting with Mick. Richard eventually proposes, to which she apparently accepts. Mick feels like quitting New York, but, in one of the most predictable film endings ever, she runs after him to confess her love, and we have a ‘happy’ ending.
In my honest opinion, ladies and gents, it’s a pile of shite. I was fairly ambivalent towards the ‘Australian’ half of the movie, as this provides a good introduction to our main character, who is clearly quite an interesting bloke. One of his best scenes is when he explains that he doesn’t care about the Nuclear Crisis, as it simply doesn’t affect him. Though uninformed, he seems quite wise, and that I can respect. On the other hand, a scene where he was stalking her and watching her take a dip in the swamp seemed a bit tasteless. The film tries to redeem this behaviour by allowing him to save her from the only crocodile in the movie, but I’m not convinced.
However, when he reaches U.S. soil, the film turns on its head. There are no moments of wisdom any more, just opportunities to cringe as Mick is baffled by modern culture. You remember Borat? You remember how it’s only funny – some might argue that it isn’t at all – because you’re not supposed to take the character seriously? It’s not even slightly amusing here. Worse still, we have that Sue and Richard are constantly laughing at his expense. Sue is the person who has dropped Mick in at the deep end, and now she’s playing with his emotions too. In Jungle 2 Jungle, Robin Williams had the decency to explain the customs of New York to his new-found tribal son; Sue does none of this. Even worse, whilst Richard does act like a dick to Mick, he still seems like a decent person; nevertheless Sue decides to up and leave him, trampling on his heart. We don’t even see his reaction to the sad news. She’s a fickle bitch who deserved to die when that croc went for her.
This is a really dumb and wholly unbalanced movie, exploiting the differences between Americans and Australians as a cheap source of entertainment. The lead female is entirely despicable, and the happy ending is entirely unwarranted. The scenes with Dundee in New York are simply awkward, especially when he discovers transvestites, which you apparently bump into everywhere in the Big Apple. If I end up reviewing the sequels, “Crocodile” Dundee II or Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles, then it will surely be because I am feeling in a particularly masochistic mood.