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Haven’t I Seen This Before?

New ‘Crocodile Dundee’ Delivers Same Ol’ Story

By J.F. Graham

Staff writer

Directed by: Simon Wincer

Written by: Matthew Berry and Eric Abrams

Starring: Paul Hogan, Linda Kozlowski, Serge Cockburn and Paul Rodriguez

Rated PG

Paul Hogan returns as the Outback’s famous croc-hunter Mick Dundee in Paramount’s newest release, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles.

It has been 18 years since we first saw Mick lost in the Big Apple looking like the proverbial fish out of water, and with the exception of a few new wrinkles and a darker tan he still manages to look the same. Unfortunately, all the jokes and sight gags are the same as well.

In many of the opening scenes we see Mick doing what he does (and already did) best. He makes wild animals move out of his way with just a squinty-eyed look and a wave of his hand. He still has trouble negotiating the modern hotel bathroom amenities. He manages to foil crimes by accident or design, fashioning whatever he can find at his disposal into a weapon the U.S. military could use, and disarms hand gun-toting gang members with cat-like reflexes. Last but not least, he is still fooled by drag queens. All that is actually different is the setting were Dundee finds himself.

With much of the film’s humor (as expected) directed toward movie industry phonies, talent agents, and wanna-be actors, many of the jokes only seem to go half way, missing an opportunity for bigger and smarter laughs. Mick does however entertain movie premiere party guests by sharing his drunken stories of the days back in Walkabout Creek wrestling crocs with his good friend Mel Gibson (a.k.a. Melvin), which is actually funny.

Dundee in LA stands true to its original. As a lighthearted, harmless comedy, Dundee contrasts with the more vulgar, off color gross-out flicks (Can you say Freddy?) that we have seen lately.

The film’s simplistic postcard plot is set in motion with Mick’s journalist girlfriend Sue (Linda Kozlowski) getting a call to cover the story of possible criminal activity within a small studio production company. Kozlowski shares little screen time with Hogan this time out, which is quite the opposite of the previous two films.

However, Mick does not find himself wandering around LA all alone. Instead he deadpans his way through tourist attractions by day, now teamed up with his young son Mickey (Serge Cockburn). While spending his nights cruising Hollywood Boulevard in his Subaru Outback with his Aussie crocodile hunting partner Jacko (Alec Wilson), it is Mick and Jacko’s nighttime escapades that manage to deliver some of the film’s funnier scenes. But, as previously mentioned, it’s nothing we have not seen before.

In the end Crocodile Dundee in LA offers nothing new. Fans of the previously popular Dundee films (if they can be called popular) may find much to like with the latest installment. In the past, there have only been a handful of sequels that have been viewed as a dead equal to their original. In some respect, when it comes to sequels all the audience wants is more of the same anyway, and “Dundee” gives us just that.