A Crock of Croc.
The joke’s wearing a bit thin.
Whereas CROCODILE DUNDEE introduced us to the strapping, vital, yet ingenuous Mick Dundee (Paul Hogan), CROCODILE DUNDEE II takes all that was good about the original and, like most sequels, ignores it.
Instead – SCARFACE THE TV SHOW, with Hechter Ubarry as Rico (think “ball-less Tony Montana”) and Juan Fernandez playing Miguel, his “Manolo.” Paul Hogan returns as some kind of SuperBushMan (Rico even makes reference to “kryptonite”) and Linda Kozlowski tags along for the screentime.
DUNDEE II begins in the Big City (stupidly, with Dundee blowing up fish in New York harbor and being laughed at – instead of arrested – by the cops) and ends in the Australian Bush. Whereas in the previous movie, Dundee was an amalgam of tourist hype and savage reality, here he is pretty much SuperBushMan all the way through; whereas he was previously a fish out of water in the Big City, a prolonged sequence illustrates his ingenuity amongst the concrete jungle, in infiltrating Rico’s hideout and rescuing the dame. When he and the blond flee to the Aussie Bush, he becomes even more powerful.
So – where’s the gag?
The Bad Guys actually tail Dundee overseas and back to his hometown of Walkabout Creek in the Northern Territory bush. (Is Mini-Montana’s llello racket that lucrative – or is there just nothing to watch on cable?) With the help of the returning cast of Aussie characters drawling almost-unintelligibly at the American cameras, Dundee takes out the Bad Guys one by one, like a genial version of Bronson in CHATO’S LAND.
Directed by John Cornell (Hogan’s manager, and writer/producer on CROCODILE DUNDEE), with adequate performances, watery comedy and nostalgic scenery, the same Peter Best themes are used, in an effort to recapture the dramatic impact of the original.
Alas, the “Crocodile” has lost his bite.