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Click above to purchase "Crocodile Dundee" at amazon.com

 

"Crocodile" Dundee

review by Zach B.

Rated PG-13

Studio: Paramount

Running Time: 97 minutes

Starring Paul Hogan, Linda Kozlowski, Mark Blum, David Gulpili, Michael Lombard and John Meillon

Screenplay by Paul Hogan, Ken Shadie & John Cornell
Story by Paul Hogan

Directed by Peter Faiman

Retail Price: $24.99

Features: Theatrical Trailer

Specs: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Dolby Surround, French Mono, English Closed Captions, English Subtitles, Scene Selection

Released: September 18th, 2001

Where to even start with "Crocodile Dundee"? Paul Hogan became a breakout star in America and an icon of sorts due to the role he created, and the film as well as its characters and catchphrases quickly worked its way into pop culture ("That's not a knife. THAT'S a knife."). The film was a true success story. Good reviews, good box office and even an Oscar® nomination for the screenplay. While that was all in the 1980s and times of glory, looking to the future we see that the third installment of the series showed status of the film's stars... but more on that another time.

So the saga begins here, when Sue Carlton (Linda Kozlowski, Hogan's real life wife) goes to the Australian outback to investigate Michael J. "Crocodile" Dundee (AKA Mick). Mick is a legend of sorts, as he is known to be quite an outdoors guy who's skilled and leads an interesting life. Sue invites Mick to New York, and that's where the fun begins. Mick has never been outside his Australian village, and as the ultimate tourist, he runs into a lot of trouble in New York City with the ultimate clashes of cultures. This, of course, leads to great, hilarious and zany comedy. I guess we can all relate to Mick as we've all been alienated at one point in our lives and not sure about things and adapting to new ways, but I doubt any of our stories are as fun and entertaining as Mick's.

So does the movie hold up well over fifteen years later? I think it does. Hogan's screenplay, co-written by John Cornell (who would go on to direct the second installment) and Ken Shadie is quite good. While at the start it may feel a little dragged out, it's quite necessary. It builds the relationship between Sue and Mick, and establishes what Mick is all about. There's some classic scenes all over the script and was worthy of an Oscar® nomination. There's good development all around as far as characters, plot and relationships.

The direction in the movie from Peter Faiman is good. He establishes a sense of wonder through Mick's eyes, and we get a glorious taste of Australia so we sort of have our own sense of wonderment. The movie, at a brisk 97 minutes, is quite even and goes by really fast. It never gets dull or boring, and always keeps things up.

The acting in the film is also very good. Hogan, while he may be stereotyped as Dundee, is perfect in the role he created (not to mention he did win the Golden Globe for it). While he can be sharp and cunning, and have his way, he captures his innocence and the naiveness of the character. His accent, his mannerisms... it's all great. He has great chemistry with real life love Kozlowski, and the other supporting roles are fun and energetic as well.

Well mates, that's about it. A comedy classic, a movie that screams the 1980s and a small but worthy part of pop culture, "Crocodile Dundee" is a must see.

 

The 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen isn't spectacular. I wish it was cleaned up more. The main problem, I thought, was the great deal of dirt, blemishes and scratches. They're all over this print and in great abundance. That can be REALLY distracting. The print can be a little bit soft at times too. Still, it's not all bad. Color saturation is really good as fleshtones are accurate and on par. Black levels are stunningly solid, while detail is pretty good. Exterior shots looks wonderful, and interior shots look pretty good too. However, night scenes don't look as good usually while there is some grain too. Still, it's not so bad. I just wish it was a little better.

 

The English Dolby Surround track is also pretty good. It's not a full blown out 5.1 mix, but dialogue is clear and easy to hear. I didn't notice any distortion as the sound appears to be in good shape. The other sounds don't overpower each other either. Music sounds pretty good too, and the more action oriented scenes are nice. Nothing too spectacular, but it's fine for what it is. A French track in mono as well as English closed captions and subtitles are included.

Paramount has provided the original Theatrical Trailer. Too bad. I wish there was a commentary, retrospective interviews or something more substantial on the film.

"Crocodile Dundee" is a great comedy featuring a fine mix of comedy and romance. This movie is classic, and helps show popular culture of the 1980s. While the transfer and sound aren't bad, there's no worthwhile bonus features. Still, the price is not the usual Paramount 30 dollars, so you could probably pick it up for around 20 bucks. It's worth it if you ask me, and a fine piece of entertainment you can just sit down and enjoy. Besides, where would we be without it? No "Crocodile Gandhi" on "The Critic," that's for sure!

(4/5 - NOT included in final score)

(3/5)

(3/5)

(.5/5)

(3/5, NOT an average)

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