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crocodile dundee in la poster
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Crocodile Dundee in LA

Starring Paul Hogan and Linda Kozlowski
Screenplay by Paul Hogan and Matthew Berry & Eric Abrams
Based on the character created by Paul Hogan
Directed by Simon Wincer

IN SHORT: Third time is less charming. [Rated PG for some language and brief violence. 95 minutes]

Crocodile Dundee in LA presents the most difficult challenge for anyone who sits in the dark for a living. It's been almost thirteen years since Crocodile Dundee II and fifteen since the original dropped strait talkin' Australian 'gator wrangler Mick Dundee (Paul Hogan) in the midst of an urban metropolis. Does C3 require any knowledge of past adventures? Thankfully, no. Is anyone who thought the first movie(s) was a blast going to go whoop-de-doo over Episode Three? Not unless they're lugging a nine-year old boy. Even then, only the boy is going to have a really good time.

If the film stunk, we could call it a crock of Croc, but it doesn't stink. Nor does it especially shine. The humor is so gentle it is almost nonexistent and a suspenseful subplot doesn't generate a heckuva lot of suspense. The nine year olds out there get to see a huge alligator with big sharp teeth; a pride of hungry lions; a funny monkey; lots of men running around with guns; a hero who beats 'em all without much effort (but with some magical power to control animals) and gets the girl in the end. All this, plus a kidlet your own age to empathize with.

It's a good thing that the two best 'gator hunters in the continent Down Under live in the lovely Outback town called Walkabout Creek, 'cuz that makes the town a hotbed of tourist activity which keeps the fifteen other adults of the town, population 20, employed. Most work in the local bar or put on aborigine shows. Dundee and pal Jocko (Alec Wilson) "hunt" gators, now using non-lethal nooses rather than outlawed firearms. That gives a definite advantage to the biggie sized reptile sighted early in the story. We're not quite sure what Dundee's better, and unmarried, half Sue Charleton (Linda Kozlowski) does in Walkabout; her journalistic background comes to the fore when her dad calls from the States, needing her to take over a desk at the LA newspaper she will one day inherit. Sensing that his hunting days may be coming to an end and thinking that their 9-year old son Mikey (Serge Cockburn) should see the States, Dundee and Co. head for LA.

While Sue picks up an investigation into a movie studio which insists on making sequel after sequel to the worst action movie of all time, strait-talking Dundee takes on a town that is usually portrayed as anything but straight. Mentally or sexually. Spending most of his time sightseeing allows for some nice scenery and interaction with the locals -- The women Dundee meets all seem desperate to find a straight man with a nice butt. The folks "in the business" are flat out of whack, which allows two very amusing cameos by well known entertainment and/or sports figures and some interesting, very gentle, comedic asides on the nature of animals and the oppressive eavesdropping nature of citified society. Not to mention the sight of two cowboys walking the night streets looking for a good Texas type bar, suitable for a good tussle. Cowboy bars = leather bars = a different type of tussle. None of this is shocking to the pair of Dundee and Jocko, and that is most of the problem.

Sue, on the other hand, is trying to figure out what studio head Arnon Rothman (Jere Burns) and "Eastern European Marketing Executive" Milos Drubnik (Jonathan Banks) are really up to. Mick goes undercover on the set of "Lethal Agent 3," is befriended by fellow extra Diego (Paul Rodriguez) and rises in the ranks of employees when his superhuman powers to control the behavior of animals is utilized.

But Hogan walks through his role, as do everyone else in the cast. Aida Turturro, recognizable from her part on The Sopranos, has a small bit as Sue's assistant at the newspaper but it's a toss away role. We kept waiting, and waiting, for something to spark real action or humor. We waited in vain.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles, he would have paid . . .


Midweek rental level. There's little about C3 to make us gush positive or negative. Paul Hogan tries to make a family friendly buffet that he delivers only a succession of side dishes with no big comedy or thrill for the main course.

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