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Crocodile Dundee in Los Angelos

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Crocodile Dundee in Los Angelos

Starring: Paul Hogan, Linda Kozlowski
Director: Simon Wincer
Rated: PG
RunTime: 113 Minutes
Release Date: April 2001
Genre: Comedy

*Also starring: Paul Rodriguez, Aida Turturro, Serge Cockburn

Review by Harvey Karten
No Rating Supplied

Made for children more than either of the two predecessors, this "Crocodile Dundee III" is curiously unfunny, and while it's nice to see Paul Hogan once again looking more avuncular than he did in the original 1986 version, this time around the amiability of the whole production gets on one's nerves. Perhaps the ideal audience would be the 9-11 year olds, about the age of the kid who plays Croc's son Mikey (Serge Cockburn)--those who had not been previously exposed to the more sharply satiric and less broadly conceived antecedents.

The theme is the usual fish-out-of-water notion. Put an Australian--and not a sophisticate from Sydney or Melbourne-- into the world's hippest fish bowl and see whether he can swim. Paul Hogan's Dundee meets the challenge surprisingly well. Though he doesn't know Tom Cruise from a cruise down the Nile, he proves to be the most charming dude around, one able to track down a scheme by a villainous Yugoslavian to smuggle 300 million dollars worth of art work into the U.S. (though how he can fence the treasure is anyone's guess).

The sit-com gags, such as they are in this less-than- hilarious work, come from the various little dramas that Australia's most famous tourist meets, but any suspense that might keep the kids in the audience diverted is undermined by the caricatures that run abundantly throughout the film, and from the reality that Dundee is never really faced by a challenge he couldn't meet were he to munch throughout a crisis on that Wendy's cheeseburger that he delights in devouring right from his car.

The well-paced story gets its impetus when Dundee's significant other, Sue Charlton (Linda Kozloswki repeating her roles from 1986 and 1988), is hired to take over a newspaper job in L.A. following the death of a journalist. Mick and his son Mikey tag along, with Mick, who considers himself a sophisticate thanks to his jaunt to New York some years back, confident that he can handle any of the two-legged monsters as readily as he could lasso a crocodile in the Australian outback. A professional in his own country's tourist industry, he now turns into a wayfarer, showing his heroism and finesse by stabbing to death an electric anaconda that he and his fellow tourists meet on a trip through Paramount Studios and by foiling a mugging staged by half a dozen bandits who don't even take the trouble to leave their car as they point their guns Downunder.

The violence, such as it is, is of a piece with the Loony Tunes cartoons of a bygone era, the bad guys slammed against walls, while we are treated to unfunny cameos by a meditative Mike Tyson who impresses Mick as a guy who wouldn't harm a fly, and George Hamilton, who guzzles martinis confident that thanks to coffee enemas all the poisons will be flushed out.

Copyright 2001 Harvey Karten

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