I remember when “Crocodile” Dundee first hit theatres, I remember seeing it at the American base in Bermuda while we were living there in the 80s. But things really took off for me and Mick Dundee (Paul Hogan) when it hit video. It was the first VHS cassette I ever bought (on a family trip to Florida), I had greatly enjoyed it when I saw it in theatres, and though my dad was dubious about me buying a movie (man it’s a good thing he hasn’t seen my collection lately) he found it to be extremely enjoyable, and would promptly lend it out to anyone who would ask to borrow it.
For awhile I think it was probably his favorite film. Two sequels later, it’s hard to believe that the film is thirty five years old, it’s a charming film, still very entertaining, and stunning to recall that the first film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.
The first film is the perfect fish out of water story. Michael J. ‘Crocodile’ Dundee may be a legend in his own mind, and the outback of Australia, where he is discovered by photojournalist Sue Charlton (Linda Kozlowski), who sees him as a great story. The pair have a quick adventure in the outback, where tall tales just add to his larger than life persona. Sue thinks it’ll be a great idea, as a follow-up to the story, to bring Mick to New York to get his impressions of the city.
And laughs abound, as a man who’s never left his own country, let alone been in a city at all, explores the concrete jungle. He’s a little backwoods, but honest (unless he’s telling a story), loves life, a good drink, a fight, and has a strong set of morals and ethics.
There’s a bit of a romance building between Sue and Mick, and the pair will have to figure out what to do about it before the end of the film.
“Crocodile” Dundee was one of the biggest hits of 1986 (not to mention boosting tourism for Australia), so it should have been no surprise that a sequel was greenlit fairly quickly, and in 1988, Mick and Sue returned in “Crocodile” Dundee II. This time around Mick and Sue head back Down Under to get away from some New York gangsters, but they follow them, allowing Mick to use his outback ways to put paid to the problems they present.
That could have been the end of it, but at the end of the 90s, Paramount let Paul Hogan take another swing at the character with “Crocodile” Dundee in Los Angeles. This time Mick, Sue and their son, Mikey (Serge Cockburn) head to Los Angeles and get caught up in some foul play at a studio.
The series got further away from its innocent and enjoyable source, and paid the price for it. Through it all though, Hogan’s portrayal of Dundee is earnest, honest, and a lot of fun. And now all three films are now available from Paramount Canada in one blu-ray package.
The picture looks great, vibrant and colorful. It looks so much better than it did the last time I saw it back in the 80s, with an image that practically pops off the screen. Yes, some of the material is dated, but you can also chart that up to the backwoods character of Dundee. There’s not a lot in the way of extras, there are a few trailers, and a couple of featurettes, but you don’t really need more than that for this collection.
And no matter what you think of the sequels, particularly the third one, the first one remains an enduring comedy, that is truly enjoyable, and makes a family-friendly comedy addition to your blu-ray shelf.
The “Crocodile” Dundee Trilogy is available now from Paramount Canada! G’day!