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If I could review this movie using one of its lines, it would be the one where Mick Dundee makes the paste of berries and gives it to Sue to smell and she recoils and says “Ugh! It stinks!” What a turd this movie is.
Here’s what happens: Sue’s photojournalist ex-husband is in Colombia trying to get intel on a drug cartel. He takes a photo of a drug lord shooting one of his minions, mails it to Sue for safekeeping, and then gets himself shot. This all happens during the first act of the movie; the rest involves the drug cartel guys trying unsuccessfully to recover the photo from Sue. They kidnap her and hold her hostage, but Mick rescues her and spirits her off to the Outback, where of course the drug guys follow them for a final showdown. It’s preposterous from beginning to end, which wouldn’t be so bad except that it’s also incredibly boring, and the one thing adventure-comedies should never be is boring.
The whole point of Crocodile Dundee is that it’s supposed to be a fish-out-of-water comedy. Big bad Australian badass comes to the big bad city and has to face a whole new slew of challenges, and hilarity ensues. In theory. Here, he’s no longer a fish out of water in New York; in fact he’s assimilated remarkably well, aside from an on-the-nose scene where he stares longingly out the window of the penthouse he shares with Sue and she asks him if he’s missing his home, setting him up to deliver the line “The bush? Yeah, I miss it.” Otherwise he’s doing just fine in New York, as we boringly discover. He befriends a man named Leroy Brown who has a reputation for being “into some heavy shit” but who actually deals in stationery. He gets a job delivering said stationery to ’80s-style offices and tries to prevent a man from jumping off a building—but not before almost falling off himself when he discovers the would-be suicide is mourning a breakup with gasp another man and accidentally recoils from him in horror. Our hero, ladies and gentlemen. Apparently gays are to Crocodile Dundee as snakes are to Indiana Jones.
This movie also makes liberal use of one of the most overused lines in the action genre: “Where’s the girl?” If you’re a woman, action movies are your cinematic fountain of youth. You could be a sixty-five-year-old divorcée with a club foot and a pet iguana, but if you get kidnapped in an action movie, you’d better believe the hero is going to refer to you as “the girl” when he inquires into your whereabouts. Never mind the fact that Mick and all the bad guys know Sue’s name. When you’re the only woman in the world, you don’t need a name, and you sure as hell don’t need adult status. Who ever heard of the hero breaking into the bad guys’ lair and asking, “Where’s the woman?” She’s being rescued, so she’s a girl. I just hope to see an action movie someday in which the Rock gets taken prisoner and Gina Carano comes to rescue him, and when she’s holding the bad guys at gunpoint, she demands in her most menacing voice, “Where’s the boy?”
Don’t worry, there are plenty of reasons to dislike this movie besides its political incorrectness. The aforementioned berry paste is later used by Mick to lure fruit bats into the bad guys’ camp. Because of all the predators in the outback, the ones you really need to worry about are the docile blind herbivores. The only thing this scene accomplished was to make me feel sorry for the bats that were forced to participate. (Luckily there are only two or three actual fruit bats present.)
The movie ends with Mick, Sue, and a distractingly handsome aboriginal dude having a good laugh over the fact that Sue has just shot Mick by accident, and that the man Mick traded clothes with in order to throw off the bad guys has just fallen off a cliff to his death. I am not making this up. During the whole movie (which feels MUCH longer than its 111-minute running time), I chuckled twice. Once near the beginning, when Mick is describing how he stayed home from job hunting to watch The Young and the Restless; and once when his “gang” distracts the bad guys while he’s breaking Sue out of their compound by hurling a bunch of trash over the wall, which is actually funnier than it sounds. Or maybe I had Stockholm Syndrome by then; it WAS over an hour into the movie.
Apparently a lot of people my age have Crocodile Dundee nostalgia that extends to this film as well as the first; if you’re one of them, I wouldn’t dream of raining on your parade. But if you’re not, save this movie for some day when you’re hung over and liable to nod off—that can only improve it.
– Ashley Wells watches too many movies and welcomes recommendations for more. Leave her one here or on Twitter: @ashleybwells. Spoiler alert: she has already seen Troll 2.