Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Crocodile Dundee II (1988)

After the success of Crocodile Dundee, it was probably a no-brainer that a sequel would be given the greenlight. And it came along two years later. A lot of the main players return, but the main twist on the material this time around is that the fish out of water main character returns to settle back in his own pond for a while.

Mick Dundee (Paul Hogan) is living happily with his partner, Sue Charlton (Linda Kozlowski), in New York. He still has his quirks, of course, but he seems nice and settled. But all that changes when Sue's ex-husband photographs a drug cartel killing someone and sends the photographs to Sue. That makes Sue a target, which makes Mick think that she might be safer if they head back to Australia and lay low for a while. The baddies follow, sorely underestimating the fact that Mick is even more of a force to be reckoned with when he's on his home turf.

The fact that this was made so soon after the first film, and has Hogan so easily slipping back into his character, ends up being a big plus for the film. Familiarity may breed contempt, but it also breeds comfort and contentment at times, and this is what you will get here if you enjoyed the first film. What you won't get, however, are many laughs. It's a shame that when Paul and Brett Hogan wrote the script for this outing they forgot to keep the laughs going along with the chase/thriller scenario. Not that the whole thing is laugh-free. It's just that most of the jokes are minor ones, and a bit too few and far between.

The direction by John Cornell is exactly the same as his direction on the first film, there are some nice shots of Australia, and he soundtrack has one tune that I enjoy on it - Real Wild Child (Wild One), performed by Iggy Pop.

Hogan and Kozlowski pair up better here than they did in the first film, mainly thanks to the latter not now having to show her being won over by the former's rough charm. John Meillon has good fun reprising his role (Walter), and he gets some more screentime thanks to his character being grabbed by the cartel as someone they think may help them catch Mick. Hechter Ubarry and Juan Fernandez are stereotypical cartel villains, and they feel like a real threat at times, while the rest of the supporting cast doesn't boast too many familiar faces, with the exception of a young-ish Luis Guzman and Charles S. Dutton being involved for all of five minutes.

It's admirable that the film at least tried to do something different with the characters in this instalment. Everyone involved could have easily just transported Mick to another area (the UK, for example) and allowed him to have another bunch of misunderstandings. They didn't. Although it wouldn't stop them returning to that well thirteen years later, when we got Crocodile Dundee In Los Angeles.


Buy a double-bill here.
And Americans can pick it up here.

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