Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Crocodile Dundee

The first entry into the trilogy is itself two culture-shock movies in one.

The first half features US newspaper writer Sue Charlton coping with life in the Australian bush, including snakes, crocodiles, tourists, and having to extensively dub her dialogue indoors. (wonderful photography)

The second half reverses the roles by bringing her Aussie guide Mick Dundee to New York. Among other things, he has to cope with escalators, elevators, and people not saying hello back on the street.

It's got to be said, these are not the same two jokes. While Charlton assumes lower intelligence of the Aussies, Dundee assumes equal intelligence of yanks.

Dundee gets much better one-liners too.

"That's incredible. Imagine seven million people all wanting to live together. Yeah, New York must be the friendliest place on earth."

"I don't mean to put down your black widow spider, but the funnelweb spider can kill a man in eight seconds, just by lookin' at him."

"I read The Bible once. You know God and Jesus and all them apostles? They were all fishermen, just like me. Yeah, straight to Heaven for Mick Dundee. Yep, me and God, we'd be mates."

Next to no plot at all, but whenever Dundee successfully befriends someone, you can feel the outback warmth.

"Crocodile Dundee" II
If last time Dundee's enemy was New York, then this time it's the 1980s.

Reversing the structure of the first movie, here it's the first half which set in the States and the second back in the Aussie bush, which is just as well, as this is when things really get going. The whole protracted cat-and-mouse game against the Colombian baddies is all gripping stuff, made thoroughly enjoyable by the total absence of any real sense of danger. Spectacular photography again too, especially the massive crane up the rocks to Dundee making his 'phone call' at sunset.


Crocodile Dundee In Los Angeles
Despite having been made 13 years after the last one, in a stroke of genius this is neither a reboot nor a remake. There are still plenty of culture-shock gags on display, sure, but the meat of this one is a good old mystery, told at such a leisurely pace that we really have time to sit back and live it. The Hollywood setting makes for a few too many knowing in-jokes for my liking, but not enough to spoil anything. This is the best one of the trilogy.

(available here)


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