Crocodile Dundee II

Director: John Cornell
Screenplay: Paul Hogan & Brett Hogan
Stars: Paul Hogan (Michael J. “Crocodile” Dundee), Linda Kozlowski (Sue Charlton), John Meillon (Walter Reilly), Hechter Ubarry (Luis Rico), Juan Fernández (Miguel), Charles S. Dutton (Leroy Brown), Kenneth Welsh (Brannigan), Stephen Root (DEA Agent), Dennis Boutsikaris (Bob Tanner), Ernie Dingo (Charlie), Steve Rackman (Donk)
MPAA Rating: PG
Year of Release: 1988
Country: Australia
Crocodile Dundee Trilogy Blu-ray
Crocodile Dundee II

Give credit where credit is due: Crocodile Dundee II did not try to simply replicate what worked so well in the first film, which must have been tempting given that it was the biggest hit in Australian box office history at the time and had landed at the number two spot on the U.S. charts in 1986, catapulting Paul Hogan from a national treasure Down Under to an international star. The sizable success of Crocodile Dundee, which Hogan also co-wrote and co-produced with veterans from his popular sketch comedy series The Paul Hogan Show (1973–84), all but guaranteed a sequel, but Hogan was clearly interested in taking the character in a different direction.

Having mined fish-out-of-water comedy for all it was worth, Hogan (who co-wrote the screenplay with his son, Brett) decided instead to play up Dundee’s action-movie qualities, which he had displayed to some degree in the first film, thus giving credence to the idea that Dundee could, as he does here, take on a gang of South American drug dealers. The sequel finds Dundee living happily with his girlfriend, Sue Charlton (Linda Kozlowski), the journalist who wrote about his exploits surviving a crocodile attack and convinced him to come back with her to New York. It turns out that Sue has an ex-husband, a daring photojournalist who snaps some pics of a South American drug lord named Luis Rico (Hechter Ubarry) assassinating a rival and then sends them to Sue for safe keeping. Pretty soon Sue is in the hands of Rico and his henchman, Miguel (Juan Fernández), held hostage in a mansion outside of town and in need of a Dundee-style rescue.

Like the first film, Crocodile Dundee II is essentially two films in one, with the second half flipping the script by moving locations. In this case, the first half of the film takes place in New York as Dundee first has to figure out where Sue is being held and why and then rescue her, which he does with the assistance of Leroy Brown (Charles S. Dutton), who acts like a pimp, but actually sells office supplies, and a comical gang of criminals who look like they escaped from a 1950s juvenile-delinquent pic. The script then flips when Dundee takes Sue back to his home turf of Walkabout Creek in the Northern Territory, where he is able to deploy all his bushman skills to protect Sue and thwart the villains, who make the mistake of following them Down Under.

Thus, Crocodile Dundee II reverses the geographic trajectory of the first film while also slipping into a more conventional action-adventure mode, albeit one with some considerable moments of comedy (ironically, Hogan never liked the idea that Dundee was regularly compared to Rambo). There is something inherently satisfying about watching Dundee, with his low-key decency and self-effacing “ocker” charm, taking out vicious Southern American drug dealers one by one. Director John Cornell, who co-wrote the first film and would go on to direct Hogan’s next film, Almost an Angel (1990), sticks to the script and lets Hogan drive the show, which results in a sequel that differentiates itself enough from the original to avoid charges of simply cashing in, even if it doesn’t break any substantial new ground.

Crocodile Dundee Trilogy 3-Disc Blu-ray Set

Aspect Ratio2.35:1 (Crocodile Dundee and Crocodile Dundee II
1.85:1 (Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles)
Audio
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 surround (Crocodile Dundee)
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround (Crocodile Dundee II and Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles)
  • French Dolby Digital 2.0 monaural
  • Portuguese Dolby Digital 2.0 monaural
  • Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 monaural
  • SubtitlesEnglish
    Supplements
  • Behind-the-scenes featurette on Crocodile Dundee II
  • “The Making of Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles featurette
  • Trailers
  • DistributorParamount Home Entertainment
    Release DateSeptember 21, 2021

    COMMENTS
    Those hoping for new transfers of the three Crocodile Dundee films will be disappointed. Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles is making its Blu-ray debut, so it is clearly a new scan and looks the best of the bunch because of it. Both Crocodile Dundee and Crocodile Dundee II appear to feature the same 1080p/AVC-encoded scans that have been used on previous Blu-ray releases. They are not bad by any means, and at times they look quite good, especially in terms of detail, color, and grain. However, there are also some noticeable blemishes from time to time and some inconsistencies, all of which could be addressed with new transfers. However, if you are looking to have all three films in one package, this is as good as it gets for a while. As for the soundtracks, Crocodile Dundee maintains its original stereo soundtrack in DTS-HD Master Audio, whereas the second two films get 5.1-channel DTS-HD mixes. All of them sound very good and immersive, with some nice surround effects. The supplements are pretty thin, though, with trailers for each of the films and archival promotional featurettes for Crocodile Dundee II (5 min.) and Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles (12 min.). Let’s hope that Paramount is simply holding out to release the first film in its “Paramount Presents” line with a new transfer and better supplements.

    Copyright © 2021 James Kendrick

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    All images copyright © Paramount Home Entertainment

    Overall Rating: (2.5)




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