Crocodile DundeeReviewed By Godfather
Posted 03/13/00 05:25:21
The Beverly Hillbillies was one of the pioneers of this one-joke gag. Take some person or persons out of their native element, put them into a radically different situation, and let's see how they cope and if they can assimilate. The lack of assimilation and the ludicrous integration of the person(s) customs into their new environment is theoretically where the laughs come from. And if this one-joke formula was all that Crocodile Dundee had going for it, it would not have been nearly as funny as it was. But in a clever plot development, the formula is adapted so that first the city girl has to try to adapt to the Australian outback and then Australian man has to survive in New York. Yes I know, faithful reader, you are thinking isn't that just the one-joke split into two? Yes, but in this case the parts are definitely greater than the whole.Sue Charlton (Linda Kozlowski) is a New York reporter who hears about a guy from the Australian outback who, after losing his leg in a crocodile attack, survives after crawling for miles out of the bush. She flies to Australia to meet and do a story about Mick "Crocodile" Dundee (Paul Hogan). From her first meeting with Dundee, Sue is literally swept off her feet by the charismatic, extroverted, egomaniac. The few days they spend together in the outback increases the admiration Sue has for the Australian answer to Tarzan and eventually leads to the idea that Mick come visit New York for a continuance of her newspaper piece. Once in New York, we get to see how Mick deals with the more interesting elements of big city life, including muggers, transvestites and prostitutes.
If this was all there was to the film it would have been nothing more than a footnote in the history of Australian based films seen in North America. But the film cleverly avoids this trap by side-stepping two potentially deadly pitfalls. First, Mick (and friends) rely on modern day devices in performing tasks that they stereotypically would use traditional methods for. For example, just at the start of his and Sue's journey to the outback, Dundee checks his friend's watch for the time (Sue is not aware of this) then in Sue's presence looks up at the sun, announces the time to the minute and suggests they better get moving. Sue of course is suitably impressed. The second save is the avoidance of having Mick become a country bumpkin when he arrives in New York. Granted, some of his antics in being introduced to new technology are hilarious (the escalator scene is a scream) but he also adapts to cab rides and restaurants with remarkable ease. And more importantly, with believability.
Crocodile Dundee is a good film but it is not a great film. That is not because of the writing or the plot development, which are both superb. The main problem with this film is Linda Kozlowski, who is to acting what the Nazis were to Polish sovereignty. She got the role because she was Paul Hogan's real-life girlfriend and her sole purpose in the film is to wear tight (sometimes wet) clothing that aptly reveals her nicely shaped breasts and ass. Her acting is so bad that she makes Julia Roberts look competent (a heretofore thought impossible task). This film has got some great comic elements that Hogan utilises to their maximum potential. And while she can't act, Linda Kozlowski's presence is insufficient to ruin the film (to her credit she does have a great pair of tits). Overall, this is a pretty funny movie and certainly worth the cost of a rental.For Hollywood BitchSlap, I'm the Godfather.
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