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Friday, 20 January 2017

Retro Review: Crocodile Dundee II (1988)

Crocodile Dundee II
Cast: Paul Hogan, Linda Kozlowski, John Meillon, Juan Fernandez, Hechter Ubarry, Charles S. Dutton
Genre: Adventure Comedy
Worldwide Box Office Gross: over $230 million

Plot: Mick 'Crocodile' Dundee is settling into his new Manhattan home when a South American drug dealer abducts his girlfriend, Sue. The drug dealer thinks images of his criminal activities, taken by Sue's photographer ex-husband, are now in her hands. The dealer takes Sue to Columbia and threatens her, hoping that she'll give up the evidence. But intrepid Dundee, aiming to rescue Sue, is soon on the criminal's trail 

'Tiresome Sequel That Is Too Stoic And Formulaic' 

Crocodile Dundee -though wasn't anything special or mindblowing- may have been ripe for a sequel, but it is not the sequel I'd expected and one that turned out the way it did. 

A sequel to the original released in 1986, the first Crocodile Dundee was a huge box office success amassing over a gross of $175 million that the popularity of the film and appeal of the Mick Dundee character was as such that large numbers of Americans travelled to Australia in 1987. 

The first two Crocodile Dundee films operated like an action adventure rom-com, much like with Romancing the Stone and its sequel, The Jewel of the Nile. The fish-out-of-water, foreign guy goes to a new land thing was redundant when Mick assimilated himself in New York, and with that in mind, the sequel had to offer something else. This film, is in some ways, trying to be like Romancing The Stone, with the South American villains and the male/female pairing of Mick and Sue, in place of Jack and Joan. 

Unfortunately, Mick and Sue here just don't have that chemistry that Jack and Joan have in abundance and this film never manages to express that fully. Linda Kozlowski could've done so much more and been a more integral focus on the film's story, and yet her character wasn't much to ponder. Her performance didn't set the film alight either, as it was mainly one note-ish. Linda and Paul's sincerity as the main star and co-star is milked to the extent as this is played up for the cameras that I found it grating. Apart from the addition of the South American drug dealers, Crocodile Dundee II doesn't offer anything exciting, new or spectacular. It's very run-of-the-mill and so watered down and generic and the material and screenplay are limp, not so fresh and neither on point compared to the prequel. It plods along slowly, rather than it being swift and forceful. Regarding the comedy humour, not only does it not work, this is downplayed throughout with only slight glimpses of it, in favour of serious action by adding drug lord characters to the main plot, in an attempt to take the film more seriously, - and yet of which a lot of the action is mediocre and felt more like filler material. 

Crocodile Dundee II also, interestingly enough, features an appearance by an adolescent Tatyana Ali as one of the kids Mick meets up. She would later end up on the Will Smith TV sitcom, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, 2 years after this film came out. 

The antagonists are very stocky and they play off like villains in a Saturday morning cartoon; I just never felt they were genuine or menacing enough. As I rewatched Crocodile Dundee II, I just sense that the whole thing is too tiring and formulaic for me to care about. Also, Leroy's gang could have been a lot more useful and effective than just howling like wolves and acting as a mere decoy for Mick to infiltrate the drug cartel. And at almost clocking in at 2 hours, this is just too long for this film. 

Crocodile Dundee II is more of a novelty that wears itself extremely thin. 

Final Verdict:

A mere cash-grab than a genuine sequel, Crocodile Dundee II with a kidnapping and drug cartel plot-line is an action-adventure comedy that is predictable and trite, as it is tiring in its execution. I was never a massive fan of the prequel, but it did a lot of things right and the formula wasn't all that typical. This follow-up, on the other hand, lacks the spark, ingenuity and is weak in many departments. It doesn't help that the story, which comes across as being too forced, is not very engaging or challenging enough to make the required effort. 

In all, Crocodile Dundee II is stoic, inferior and forgettable and at best, it is a harmless effort, but it's not a classic sequel by any stretch of the imagination, as it is let down by the lack of laughs and being too ordinary in its feel and approach. 

This is an uninspired, laboured follow-up that isn't as clever as the original.


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