Crocodile Dundee (1986)

(On TV, April 2017) There’s no doubt that Crocodile Dundee has become a minor reference in the history of US/Australian relations, and part of it has to do with the utter simplicity of seeing a rough Australian bushman being thrust in mid-eighties Manhattan. While the film is rather dull in its first act, it finally clicks once the outback meets the streets of New York. The classic gags (“That’s a knife”) come from this middle section of the film, once past the bush prologue and before the film gets bogged down in an unconvincing romance. (This is one of those movies where, despite the happy ending, you basically give them six months together.) What doesn’t work so well is the simplistic plot—once you’re past the jokes, there simply isn’t much left in the movie. Worse yet is some of the dated humour (the transsexual jokes wouldn’t be tolerated nowadays.) and the agonizing pacing of the last sequence. While I’m happy I finally saw the movie that everyone talked about thirty years ago (echoed in pop culture since then), I don’t think Crocodile Dundee has aged well at all.

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