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  Crocodile Dundee II That's Not A Wife - That's A Wife
Year: 1988
Director: John Cornell
Stars: Paul Hogan, Linda Kozlowski, John Meillon, Hechter Ubarry, Juan Fernández, Charles S. Dutton, Kenneth Welsh, Ernie Dingo, Steve Rackman, Gerry Skilton, Gus Mercurio, Jim Holt, Alec Wilson, Stephen Root, Luis Guzmán, Dennis Boutsikaris
Genre: Comedy, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Mick Dundee (Paul Hogan), known as Crocodile Dundee thanks to his exploits in the Australian Outback where he spent most of his life as a trapper and general adventurer, has made his new home in New York City, after falling in love with reporter Sue Charlton (Linda Kozlowski) and deciding to stay. He is well known in the area thanks to his celebrity status, and the local police department don't even mind if he uses dynamite to fish in the harbour, he's just that beloved, but he's beginning to think this "holiday" of his could do with something else to occupy his time, so he sets about getting a job. Though in Colombia, Sue's ex-husband will throw a spanner in the works...

There was a trend in the eighties which saw the major successes at the box office followed by sequels that were rarely as good as their originals, a trend that has continued to this day, and Crocodile Dundee II was very much part of that new tradition back in 1988. It has its fans, but few would argue it bettered what had gone before, as for some reason they eschewed the pleasantly episodic structure of the first in favour of having Mick battle drugs dealers, seemingly because that was what the action heroes of the day were doing in their movies. If Chuck Norris was pitted against Central American drug lords, that that was good enough for Paul Hogan's creation.

The trouble with that was it turned the easygoing, unworldly Mick into just another generic action man, and had what was part of the trend in American movies of this decade for bringing in an outsider's perspective to better understand your own culture transformed into yet another ho-hum thriller with Hispanic actors once again landed with the bad guy roles. Not only in American films, of course, as Crocodile Dundee was Australian through and through, though this sequel had an American studio backing it, yet it was a shame when the initial outing had demonstrated to Americans how others could view them in the same way as happened in the movie, this was dropped second time around.

Sure, there were a few fish out of water gags, in the sketch-like scenes opening the story, so we got Charles S. Dutton as a shady character called Leroy Brown (like the song, as he points out) who is not actually shady, he's a legitimate businessman who plays up to the image because it is good for his line of work. He offers Mick a job, but this plotline was abruptly dropped when Sue, as with the female lead in almost every other action movie, is kidnapped by the gangsters who want the roll of film her ex sent her which has incriminating evidence on it. Kozlowski was stuck in a thankless part for the first half as all she had to do was sit about looking frosty in the mansion of lead villain Luis Rico (Hechter Ubarry) while Hogan had all the fun, marshalling a typical movie street gang into assisting him in getting her back.

This carte blanche to do whatever he wanted, with the permission of the authorities apparently because of his charm, extended only so far, therefore in an inversion of the debut he took Sue back to his old stomping ground in Australia, where we were expected to believe the hoodlums were prepared to follow them with a view to bumping them off - would they really have been arsed? And would Rico himself have gone with them? That's some hands-on delegation right there. Anyway, there commenced an extremely slow second hour where Mick captured the baddies one by one with the help of his mates and his canny sense of tracking and all-round aptitude with nature, though he did not, thankfully, follow Norris's lead and gun them down in a frenzy of violence. The freshness of the concept had given way to second hand bits of business. Oh, and if you were around at the time, how often did they play that bloody "You know who that was? Clint Eastwood!" clip on television? Music by Peter Best.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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