tek's rating:

"Crocodile" Dundee (PG-13)
IMDb; Paramount; Rotten Tomatoes; TV Tropes; Wikipedia
streaming sites: Amazon; FandangoNOW; Google Play; iTunes; Vudu

Spoilers? No, I don't think so... not so much for plot, anyway. Maybe some of the gags, but they're much funnier when you actually watch the movie than when I allude to them, anyway.

So, this came out in 1986, when I was eleven years old. I probably first saw it sometime in the late 80s. Possibly more than once; I think we had it on VHS. But I don't really remember watching it more than once. Anyway, I'm writing this in 2018, after watching it on DVD, not having seen it for quite a few years. It remains an amusing movie, even if there are a few bits that could be offensive. But mostly I appreciate it for its nostalgic value.

There's this newspaper journalist named Sue Charlton (Linda Kozlowski), from New York City. At the start of the movie she is, I think, in Australia, having just finished writing some article, or whatever. But she wants to stay a bit longer, because she's heard of this guy named Michael J. "Crocodile" Dundee (Paul Hogan), who apparently was attacked by a crocodile, had half his leg bitten off, but survived, and supposedly crawled through hundreds of miles of the Outback to get back to safety. And now he runs a small tourism business, along with a business partner named Wally Reilly. Sue wants to meet Mick Dundee and have him take her out to where he was attacked, so she can write an article about him. So, she goes to the small town of Walkabout Creek, where she's greeted by Wally, and later introduced to Mick. (It turns out the croc only bit him, but didn't take any of his leg.)

Well, Mick takes her into the Outback for a couple days. This takes up probably a bit less than half the movie. There were some things I remembered about this part of the story, and some things I didn't. Probably the most memorable bit is when a croc attacks Sue. (And just before that, her thong swimsuit is also pretty memorable.) And I remembered the part where she met Mick's aboriginal friend, Neville. (Mainly what I remembered about him was the lens cap joke he makes.) One bit that I didn't remember was when some assholes were shooting at kangaroos one night, just for fun. Sue didn't like that, so she got Mick to put a stop to it. Which he did in a very unusual way, which was pretty amusing... unless you think too hard about it, in which case I'd say it's a bit macabre. But anyway, that was decent. And at some point, Sue and Mick kiss (even though she's got a boyfriend back home). And... I expect I've mentioned things out of order. And left out lots of other things entirely. Oh... another thing I always remembered about the movie was the slang term "sheila" for women. (There's lots of Australian slang in the movie, of course, some of which was probably familiar, some not so much, and probably a lot I forgot as soon as I heard it, if I even made out what was being said at all. Although I'm a bit surprised that Mick never said "throw a shrimp on the barbie.")

Anyway, when Sue is ready to return to New York, she asks Mick to come with him, and he agrees. So, the rest of the movie is basically about Mick being very much out of his element, in the big city. And again, there are lots of memorable bits in the New York part of the movie. Probably the best-known, most iconic scene is one night when some guys try to mug Mick and Sue. One of the guys has a switchblade, which doesn't impress Mick at all. You know the line: "That's not a knoife." (Takes out his Bowie knife.) "That's a knoife." Another thing I always remembered was Mick seeing a bidet for the first time, in his fancy hotel room, and trying to figure out what it was for. I'm pretty sure this movie was the first time I ever heard of a bidet, myself. And all these years later, I don't recall ever seeing one in real life. (Nor would I likely be interested in using one.) Still, it was funny. And I remembered a scene where his mistook cocaine for some sort of cold medicine, or something. And I remembered him seeing a TV for the second time in his life, turning it on for just a few seconds, and the show (I Love Lucy) being the same thing he saw before. (I always loved that bit, because it's just so true. That is exactly how TV works, coupled with the power of coincidence.) And... quite possibly I've already forgotten other things that I remembered about the movie. But there were also lots of things I didn't remember. Like Sue's boyfriend (and editor), Richard Mason. And her father, Sam, who I guess owns the paper they work for. And I didn't remember the limo driver, Gus (Reginald VelJohnson, whom I know from Family Matters), whom Mick befriends. Nor did I remember Mick meeting any of the various people he met, including hookers, a transvestite, a cabbie, a doorman, etc. And... I knew that a romance developed between Mick and Sue, of course, but none of the complications. But I really did like watching the final scene, in which a crowd of New Yorkers help Sue tell Mick how she really feels. That's one of the nice things about forgetting bits of movie plots: getting to see them as if for the first time, with the full emotional effect.

Well, no doubt I've forgotten lots and lots of little things from my viewing of the movie the night before I wrote this review, even though there's really not a lot to the actual plot. It's more about setting up a series of gags, with a little romance mixed in. But it was fun. And it's definitely a classic of the 80s. (I also wanted to say I've always been a bit disappointed that Linda Kozlowski didn't have a major film career outside of this franchise.)

There are two sequels, but I've only seen the first. And there was a commercial in the 2018 Super Bowl that played with the idea of another sequel.


comedy index
tek's nostalgia