|Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles
dir Simon Wincer
scr Matthew Berry, Eric Abrahms
with Paul Hogan, Linda Kozlowski, Serge Cockburn, Jere Burns, Paul Rodriguez, Aida Turturro, Jonathan Banks, Alec Wilson, Gerry Skilton, Kaitlin Hopkins, George Hamilton, Mike Tyson
release US 20.Apr.01; UK 24.Aug.01
Paramount 01/Australia 1h32
Seems a bit strange after 13 years to revive Mick "Crocodile" Dundee for another fish-out-of-water adventure. The 1986 and 1988 films were huge hits, even if they weren't very good. And Hogan (now age 60) needs a hit. So he's back as the swashbuckling Aussie Outback hero, who after all these years is living in tiny Walkabout Creek with his girlfriend Sue (Kozlowski), wrestling the crocs with his friends Jacko and Nugget (Wilson and Skilton) and teaching his 10-year-old son Mikey (Cockburn) the ways of the bush. Then Sue is called home to run the L.A. bureau of her dad's newspaper empire, and Mick and Mikey tag along for a bit of urban education. Of course, Sue uncovers a huge scandal involving a Hollywood studio. Hilarity and life-threatening adventures ensue. Well, supposedly.
The problem here, besides the terrible acting and weak direction, is that the script contains only one joke in its entire 92 minutes (a throwaway gag about three-quarters of an inch of rain causing mayhem in Malibu). Otherwise, the dialog is hammy and corny and the story is breathtakingly lame. Hogan is surprisingly watchable, gifted with timing and physical presence. But the script keeps going on and on about how handsome, fit and desirable he is (as if the role was originally written for Barbra Streisand). And it also makes him far less streetwise--and far more Dr Dolittle-esque--than humanly possible. The only vaguely amusing bit is an unintentionally hilarious scene with Mike Tyson (the Mike-meet-Mick-and-Mikey joke proves that David Letterman's Oprah-meet-Uma joke was a gem after all!). And the entire film is awash in fake Hollywood sunshine that seems to have been re-created in an Australian film lab. Frankly, this is a dud of epic proportions. Most irritatingly, it shows just a whisper or promise, that with a decent script they might have surprised us with a clever little romp. What we have instead is something utterly unfunny and unnecessary. But at least this flop means we'll be spared the likes of Crocodile Dundee in London.
|Filmnet, Melbourne 07.Apr.01