Browse all reviews by letter     A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0 - 9

Australia 1986
Directed by
Peter Faiman
102 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2.5 stars

Crocodile Dundee

Crocodile Dundee was penned by former Sydney Harbour Bridge rigger and TV comedian Paul “Hoges” Hogan with his long-time business manager and the film’s producer, John Cornell along with television writer Ken Shadie. It is a passable comedy about an American journalist (Linda Kozlowski) who comes to the Far North of Australia to do a story on croc-attack survivor, Michael J. "Crocodile" Dundee (Hogan) and takes him back to New York City to see how he acquits himself in very different world of the Big Apple.

Throughout the 70s and early 80s, Paul Hogan carved out for himself a much-loved image on the small screen as the archetypal irreverent, laid-back Aussie bloke with a liking for ciggies, a beer, a barbie and the shielas.  That Crocodile Dundee was a huge commercial success, both domestically and internationally, taking some $50 million and is still standing as Australia's biggest box office success ever is more a reflection of Hogan’s small screen popularity and the temper of the times than any particular merits of the film itself.

The film is roughly divided into two parts: Mick as the savvy hunter in the Outback and Mick as the fish-out-water in the world’s No I city. With solid production values and efficiently directed by former TV director Peter Faiman who directed much of Hogan’s television work. It rolls out its Australian and American stereotypes in a good-natured fashion with only John Meillon's winning performance as Mick Dundee's business partner being the exception to the otherwise standardised characterisations.

The film is amusing in places but the humour largely begins and ends with Hogan’s public persona. It both trades on it (we all know that it’s Hoges we’re watching rather than Mick Dundee) and further inflates his image as a cocky, devil-may-care Aussie, unburdened by any of the effete traces of urban sophistication. Particularly with respect to the New York half of the film as a character Mick Dundee clearly has his parentage in the Chips Rafferty fair dinkum, all-round good bloke from the Outback mixed with a touch of the Barry McKenzie type of “stone-the-crows” ocker overseas caricature.

That the film was made in the mid-80s, just as Australia was feeling the first effects of the coming tsumani of globalisation and multi-culturalism that would change it forever, was its good fortune as the ingenuous innocence that is essential to Mick Dundee’s world-view looks a lot more forced in today’s world of 24/7 connectivity than it would have back then.

FYI:  It was followed by a 1988 sequel, Crocodile Dundee II, written by Hogan with his son Brett and directed by John Cornell, which superflously reiterated everything in the first film only in a reverse order. travelling from NYC back to The Outback and 2001, in true flogging a dead horse fashion, Crocodile Dundee In Los Angeles.

Hogan and Kozlowski, who teamed up well on-screen, became a real-life pairing subsequently, Hoges, to the horror of many of his female fans, leaving his wife for the American actress.




Want something different?

random vintage best worst