Crocodile Dundee (1986)
An Aussie in New York
That's incredible. Imagine seven million people all wanting to live together. Yeah, New York must be the friendliest place on earth - Mick Dundee
It's sort of amusing that after the release of "Crocodile Dundee" in 1986 Paul Hogan was suddenly this big star where in fact the truth was that he was already a star before having appeared on TV for many years in his native Australia. But it was most definitely the entertaining "Crocodile Dundee" which catapulted Hogan to world wide stardom. Yet at the same time it could be said that "Crocodile Dundee" put pay to his movie career as whilst he made other movies as well as 2 sequels none of them would get close to being as entertaining and memorable as the first "Crocodile Dundee".
Having heard about this man who survived a crocodile attack, journalist Sue Charlton (Linda Kozlowski - Crocodile Dundee II) heads to Australia and tracks down Mick 'Crocodile' Dundee (Paul Hogan - Charlie & Boots) in the hope of getting his story for her New York paper. After spending a few days together in the Australian out back Sue is completely charmed by Mick and talks him into going to New York with her. But Mick soon discovers that New York is definitely very different to his simple life in Australia yet wins people over with his charm and simple good manners including Sue who finds herself falling for the rugged Mick despite having a boyfriend who wants to marry her.
There are 2 sides to "Crocodile Dundee" it is part romantic comedy and part 'fish out of water' with the latter being the far more entertaining side. We get a series of establishing scenes in Australia which are all kind of amusing as Mick shows Sue the sights of the outback but it is when Sue takes him to New York that it really becomes something fun. In a way it's obvious stuff, you know that Mick's way of life is totally opposite to the hustle and bustle of the city but watching him treat people with simple politeness and doing what he would do in the out back is so much fun. As such "Crocodile Dundee" is a movie which works on one set piece scene after another, be it the now famous "That's not a knife" scene or the transvestite in the bar scene or numerous other scenes which make fun of language difficulties.
Of course the other side of "Crocodile Dundee" is that it is a romantic comedy which blends into all of this fish out of water comedy. It is shall we say very obvious and after we have watched Mick and Sue spend a couple of days bonding in the bush you know that they are destined to be together despite Sue having a boyfriend back in New York. Despite being obvious it does have its moments such as when Mick deals with the snide Richard via a quick punch and then there is the big finale which most definitely works to deliver that romantic upbeat ending.
Much of why "Crocodile Dundee" works is down to the charisma of Paul Hogan as Michael J. Crocodile Dundee. From the naivety of Mick as he walks around New York through to that smile and glint in his eye you just can't but help like Mick. And add to this that whilst naive he is also a hero by being himself makes him all the more appealing and fun, from throwing a tin of food to stop a thief through to punching a pimp he marches into are hearts and it is impossible to stop him. It also helps that there is great chemistry between Hogan and co-star Linda Kozlowski, who would go on to be Hogan's wife. Director Peter Faiman may be fascinated by Linda's good looks, warm smile and shapely figure as shown in the lingering shots of her stripping to her swimming costume but the chemistry between the stars leaps off of the screen.
Whilst there are other stars in "Crocodile Dundee" such as John Meillon as Walter, Steve Rackman as Donk and Mark Blum as Richard it really is a movie all about Paul Hogan and it is his likeability which makes it work.
What this all boils down to is that "Crocodile Dundee" is a really good fun movie which is simple but entertaining. It works because of Paul Hogan who charms us in every single scene and it is all those scenes, the set piece moments of fish out of water which make us laugh. What is good is with the exception of some terrible fashion statements "Crocodile Dundee" has dated surprisingly well and is as much fun now as it was back in the 80s.
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