Plot: What’s it about?
Ah, the mid 1980’s…home to “modern” music, bad movies and yuppies. Why did it ever go away? In the midst of what we now look back on and laugh at, was Crocodile Dundee. Perhaps we as a nation couldn’t get enough of just one Aussie star in Mel Gibson, so this light-hearted comedy was a major success when it came out in 1986. Paul Hogan, bless his heart, will forever be burdened with the label of this character, but I’m sure he’s laughing all the way to the bank! There was a bit of controversy surrounding the movie, however, as the star married his co-star right about the time this movie came out. Hogan had been happily married to his wife of many years and when success hit him, he married Linda Kozlowski. But, I suppose he has proved all of his skeptics wrong as he and Linda are still married. Who cares, right? Crocodile Dundee certainly isn’t an original plot, that’s for sure. It’s just another rehash of your “fish out of water–better make that Crocodile out of water” story. But it’s told in a way that we liked and has inspired two sequels. They did something right. To this day, tell me you can’t hear the phrase “That’s not a knife…that’s a knife” and not think of this movie!
Mick “Crocodile” Dundee (Paul Hogan) is a local celebrity in his native Australia. He has attracted the attention of a certain New York newspaper and Sue Charlton (Linda Kozlowski) intends to fly down under to get a glance at the “real deal”. Now before I delve deeper into the plot, I have to say…there isn’t much of one. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s your basic fish out of water scenario. Sure, there’s some underlying romantic tension, but it’s essentially “Crocodile Dundee in New York” which was the plot of the sequel. In any case, I’ll try and get back to the storyline. Sue meets Mick and sees his environment. His pal, Walter (John Meillon) wants nothing but the best for Dundee, but Mick is too at ease with himself and his surroundings to do anything about it. As he takes Sue for a tour of the outback (pronounced eout-back), we quickly see that we are in Mick’s territory. Sure, he can wrestle crocodiles, grab poisonous snakes and kill them, but beneath it all he’s just a man. While his mannerisms are subtle, he is a bit intimidated by Sue and he tries his best to impress her.
Sure enough, the time comes when she has to leave, but she is so intrigued with him that she decides to invite him back to New York. Dundee, not having many other plans, accepts and it’s off to the Big Apple they go! Now Mick may be at home in the company of killer animals, but when he hits the streets of Manhattan, he’s in trouble. He goes exploring, noticing many of the odd people around and wonders why all the people are in such a darn hurry. Aside from this, he meets Sue’s fiancΘe, who turns out to be a real loser. Through it all, Crocodile Dundee makes his mark on New York and he may or may not steal the girl away in the end (we know he did in real life). Crocodile Dundee is many people’s guilty pleasure. It was a huge success financially in the mid 80’s as was it’s sequel, but the franchise seems to think that it deserved another treatment 15 years later. In any case, it’s a good movie that isn’t trying to make a statement. It’s just about good, clean fun–mate.
Video: How does it look?
Paramount has once again showed us that among their impressive library, they can take a movie and give us a brand new anamorphic transfer. Ok, so we have a brand new 2.35:1 anamorphic image, now what? I can say that this looks, hands down, the best that the movie has looked–short of seeing it in the theater. The flesh tones left me wondering a bit, as they seem to be a bit over-saturated, making everyone look like they had a really good tan. Then again, it was the 80’s and they might of! But I digress…There is a bit of edge enhancement that distracted me a bit, but nothing that would prohibit you from buying the disc. A bit of artifacting is the only thing left that might make you weary. On the whole, it’s a good transfer, but I felt it could have been a bit better. Still, it’s nice to have this movie on DVD and it does look good in all of it’s anamorphic glory.
Audio: How does it sound?
One of Paramount’s catalog titles not to be remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1, this disc features a Dolby Surround track along with a French mono track. I found the sound to be adequate, as the Crocodile Dundee movies certainly aren’t ones to demo your system with. Dialogue is above average, though I found a few parts where the volume was a bit low and some scenes where there was a bit of a “hiss”. A bit odd, but then again, this movie is 15 years old now. On the whole, I don’t think you’ll have much to complain about, but I’ve seen examples (heard, rather) of Paramount’s excellence in this department; so I was a bit let down.
Supplements: What are the extras?
Paramount makes it easy for us DVD Reviewers in this department…all you’ll find is a theatrical trailer. If you’re a fan of the movie (and there’s lots of you out there…admit it), then you might want to pick this disc up. But I can say that you’ll really have to like the movie, as it’s audio/video/extras won’t dazzle you in the least.<