There is something really satisfying and comforting about seeing Paul Hogan back as Crocodile Dundee. From the moment that the smile, the look of familiar mild panic and that hat and vest appear on-screen, you know that Hogan hasn’t lost any of the Dundee charm. He looks different for sure, time has definitely worn itself on his face, but from the moment a huge crocodile rips through his boat and he comically perches in a tree, you know there is still some magic left in Mick “Crocodile” Dundee yet.
Luckily, the third installment focuses much more on the “fish-out-of-water” Mick Dundee from the first movie than the “Rambo” Crocodile Dundee from the second. It is weird to think that all the character needs to do is go to a different American city to pick-up that same style of story but as the movie plays out, LA seems to be very different to it’s New York counterpart.
This is where the best moments of the movie lie. When Hogan’s Dundee is trying to mingle at a party, telling people about “Mal Gibson” or causing chaos at a studio tour, the film demonstrates Hogan’s great comedy timing and how enjoyable it is to watch the character fumbling through many different, bizarre situations, pointing out the ludicrous nature of every one.
It helps that he now has a son in tow too. This adds some more comedy potential, with the young kid showing his Outback skills at school. It is a small part of the film which you can’t help but feel could have been fleshed out further. The potential of a father/son survival trip that is briefly mentioned only serves to tease some potentially great moments that we never get to see.
This is highlighted further when the movie places Dundee and returning love interest Linda Kozlowski as Sue, into the usual orchestrated peril. The lead-up to this is great, with Mick working at a movie studio and putting in place his bushman skills in unusual places. Unfortunately, this slowly leads into a showdown with faceless goons at the movie’s finale and it feels unnecessary.
Even in these scenes there are some cool Dundee moments and the way he eventually takes care of the “villains” of the movie is unique and plays well to the character that Hogan has created but you can’t help but feel that the end is tagged-on, giving the movie some sort of meaningful ending.
The third film does serve as a decent round-out to the trilogy. It takes some of the best aspects of the first and does away with most of what pulled the quality of the second down. There is a moment when Paul Hogan looks to camera with a glint and you can’t help but think that there could have been some life in “Mick Dundee – Private Investigator” after all.
Overall, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles is a return to form for the character. It takes the best aspects of the first movie, the “fish-out-of-water” and adds it to the crazy environment of Hollywood. Unfortunately it feels the need to add a hero vs villain story which doesn’t ring true but still adds some of the old Dundee magic.
Rating – 3.5
(1 – Awful, 2 – Average, 3 – Good, 4 – Great, 5! – Must See)