Paramount Studios presents
Crocodile Dundee II (1988)
"Well, these heavy dudes kidnapped my woman. They're holding her prisoner in a big mansion. And I'm gonna bust her out."- Mick Dundee (Paul Hogan)
Stars: Paul Hogan, Linda Kozlowski
Other Stars: John Meillon, Charles Dutton, Kenneth Welsh
Director: John Cornell
MPAA Rating: PG for (mild violence and language)
Run Time: 01h:51m:23s
Release Date: 2001-09-18
DVD ReviewWe all know the rule that movie sequels generally stink. Not surprisingly, Crocodile Dundee II, the mixed-up 1988 follow up to the 1986 original, is a weak, lengthy mess that seems to exist on the simple premise that the more Mick Dundee (Paul Hogan), the better. With that said, I imagine if you were a big fan of Hogan's fish out of water Aussie act in the first film, then this disc will probably not disappoint you too much. There's plenty of Dundee heroics here, and of course far too many scenes that feature his bemused wonder at the so-called 'modern world.' However, for the rest of you, I advise you to kindly stay away. Trust me.
Picking up not long after the end of the first film, this sequel finds the unemployed Dundee and gal pal reporter Sue Charlton (Linda Kozlowski) still living in New York City. Meanwhile, Sue's ex-husband Bob Tanner (Dennis Boutsikaris), a photo-journalist, is working for the DEA in Columbia, trying to get photographic evidence of violent drug lord Rico (Hechter Ubarry). One of the first flaws in the myriad of bad writing here is the curious fact that the DEA would employ a single American journalist to track down the ruthless Rico. Not only that, Tanner talks out loud to himself (!!!) while shooting pictures of a clandestine meeting between Rico and some heavily armed thugs, deep in the Columbian jungle. Tanner gets a photo of Rico shooting a man, and apparently this type of information is critical to the DEA.
Tanner is able to send the film to Sue in New York before being killed by one of Rico's pony-tailed henchmen. For reasons that never seemed to clear, it is essential that Rico personally retrieve the film, and so he heads to New York and kidnaps Sue. Suddenly it is up to Dundee to rescue his significant other, and if you wonder if he will be succeed, then you haven't seen enough movies, my friend. The second half of this tale has Mick and Sue heading back to the land down under to battle Rico and his gang on Croc's home turf, with the expected far-fetched silliness a result.
Director John Cornell, who was one of the screenwriters on the original, here works from a script penned by Paul and Brett Hogan. To call the Crocodile Dundee schtick a one-trick pony would not be an exaggeration, and there is very little believable action or actual humor present. The villains are genuinely threatening, but Dundee's retaliation techniques are just this side of something Wile E. Coyote might try in one those old Warner Brothers cartoons.
In defense of Hogan, his Dundee character is likeable enough. The first film apparently had a sort of unique charm, though truly lost on me, that appealed to a lot of moviegoers. Crocodile Dundee II might have been a moderately entertaining 90-minute feature, but at almost two hours it drags on far too long. There are too many one-dimensional stock characters, and way too many contrived action sequences spread across the duration.
As far as sequels go, this is a bad one. But, consider the source.
Reviewer's Note: I watched Crocodile Dundee II only days after the tragic terrorist attack on The Pentagon and The World Trade Center. The opening scenes, a preposterous sequence featuring Dundee fishing with dynamite, use the majestic New York skyline as a backdrop. The World Trade Center Towers figure prominently in the shot, and it was a heart-wrenching site to see these massive structures, knowing what would eventually occur. I realize that many, many films have used the skyline of New York, and I'm certain that there will be many more unexpected sightings that will again and again remind us of the terrible loss of life that occurred as result of that cowardly, violent act.
Not that I will ever really need to be reminded. Some things should never be forgotten.
Rating for Style: C-
Rating for Substance: D
|Aspect Ratio||2.35:1 - Widescreen|
|Original Aspect Ratio||yes|
Image Transfer Review: Paramount has presented Crocodile Dundee II in a 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio. Flesh tones remain consistently lifelike throughout, but the overall color palette seems to be a bit subdued. There is poor contrast during the night scenes, rendering most on-screen activity questionable due to black levels that offer little in the way of shadow depth. Some shimmer and edge enhancement occur sporadically, which only add to a less than exemplary transfer.
On the plus side, little or no nicks and scratches are present.
Image Transfer Grade: C
|DS 2.0||English, French||yes|
Audio Transfer Review: Paramount has provided an uneventful 5.1 mix that offers very little in the way of noticeable surround effects, musical or otherwise. The Peter Best score manages to come across fairly well, with some significant depth as a result of the enhanced audio mix, but even that is negligible. Little or no directional imaging is present, though the dialogue is never overpowered and dominates the front channels solidly.
The English 2.0 mix varies little from the 5.1 option, with only a slightly less vibrant score the primary difference.
A stereo French dub is also provided.
Audio Transfer Grade: C+
Disc ExtrasStatic menu
Scene Access with 20 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
Extras Review: Paramount has served up a scratchy 1.85:1 widescreen trailer for Crocodile Dundee II and a quickie (05m:25s) grainy behind-the-scenes featurette as the sole supplementals. The featurette consists primarily of production footage wrapped around the usual happy talk so prevalent in material like this.
The inclusion of 20 chapter stops, as well as English subtitles, complete the bonus material.
Extras Grade: D+
Final CommentsCrocodile Dundee II. It's a sequel to a marginal film. Run. Run very far away from it.
Rich Rosell 2001-09-18