Crocodile Dundee 2
Critical Review and Bibliography
Crocodile Dundee 2 is the sequel to Crocodile Dundee which was the most popular Australian film made in the 80's. Even though it is a sequel the film does differ in some cast and crew. In this essay I will discuss the ways in which number 2 is different from the original. I will also review the film and talk about the prior work of the main leads and the director, cinematographer and writers. Crocodile Dundee 2 is also present and I will discuss this in my essay.
The cast of Crocodile Dundee 2 contains Paul Hogan as Mick 'Crocodile' Dundee, Linda Kozlowski as his wife Sue Charlton, John Meillon as Mick's mate Walter O'Reilly, Ernie Dingo as Charlie, Hechter Ubarry as Rico and Juan Fernandez as Miguel just to name a few. Rico and Miguel are Colombian drug lords trying to capture Dundee. The crew of Crocodile Dundee 2 does differ slightly from that of the first film. The changes are as follows; the director changed from Peter Faiman in the first to John Cornell in the second, the producer of the first was John Cornell but in the second he was accompanied by Jane Scott and the first film was written by Paul Hogan, John Cornell and Ken Shadie whereas the second film was written by Paul Hogan and Brett Hogan. However, the cinematography and music did not change with Russell Boyd, A.C.S. and Peter Best keeping their jobs.
Crocodile Dundee 2 was filmed in New York and in Australia. The Australian locations were Arnhem Land and Kakadu National Park, both located in the Northern Territory. The film was rated PG when it came out and its duration is approximately 106 minutes.
Crocodile Dundee 2 was released on 25th of May 1988 and was not as popular as its predecessor. It only grossed $24,462,976 in five days of release and made $8,623 per theatre. Crocodile Dundee 2 had a total worldwide gross of $239,600,000 compared to the original which grossed $328,000,000 worldwide. Having said that, it is the 23rd most successful film in Australian box offices behind Monsters Inc which is 22nd and ahead of Saving Private Ryan which is 24th.
Paul Hogan has done numerous interviews about the Crocodile Dundee series. I have found some of these interviews on the internet. In one interview Hogan says that he resisted doing Crocodile Dundee 3 for seven years but eventually did it because he thought that Mick Dundee would have the time of his life in Los Angeles. I couldn't find any interviews with any other members of the crew but I did find a lot of information about Russell Boyd (the cinematographer) and John Cornell (the director).
Boyd has worked on such films as Picnic At Hanging Rock (dir. Peter Weir, 1975), Gallipoli (dir. Peter Weir, 1980), Dr. Doolittle (dir. Betty Thomas, 1997) and Liar Liar (dir. Tom Shadyac, 1996). He has been a major contributor to the look of Australian films since the mid 1970's. Before he started feature films Boyd worked on newsreels, documentaries, commercials and television dramas. He has won many awards including the Australian Cinematographers Society 'Milli' award ('Best Cinematographer of the Year'), British Academy Cinematographer Award and in 1988 received the AFI Raymond Longford Award for his 'significant contribution to Australian film-making' (Muir, 1999, pgs 40-41).
John Cornell has directed one film since Crocodile Dundee 2 which was Almost An Angel (1990) which starred Paul Hogan and Linda Kozlowski. He is also known for his work producing films such as Crocodile Dundee.
Music Director Peter Best is highly regarded after winning AFI Best Score Award for The Picture Show Man (dir. John Power, 1977). He has also worked on other films including Muriel's Wedding (dir. Paul J. Hogan, 1994), Doing Time For Patsy Cline (dir. Chris Kennedy, 1997) which he won the Film Critics Circle and AFI Best Film Score Award for and My Mother Frank (dir. Mark Lamprell, 2000).
Preceding Paul Hogan's movie career was his very popular television show The Paul Hogan Show which established him as Australia's most famous television comedian of the 1970's and 1980's (Mayer, 1999, pg 213). After his television show Hogan went on to make Crocodile Dundee, Crocodile Dundee 2, Almost An Angel, Lightning Jack (dir. Simon Wincer, 1994), Flipper (dir. Alan Shapiro, 1996) and Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles (dir. Simon Wincer, 2001). Hogan is the perfect example of an Australian who gets cast in the "ocker" Australian role. In all his movies he has played the rugged, larrikin from Australia.
Linda Kozlowski began her fully-fledged film career in Crocodile Dundee and has followed that success up with Crocodile Dundee 2, Pass The Ammo (dir. David Beaird, 1988), Almost An Angel, The Neighbor (dir. Rodney Gibbons, 1993), Backstreet Justice (dir. Chris McIntyre, 1994), Village Of The Damned (dir. John Carpenter, 1995) and Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles. Kozlowski is more versatile in her acting than her husband who seams to stick to feel good comedies. Kozlowski has been in comedies, thrillers, horrors, suspense and drama films. She gets cast as the blonde bombshell in most of her films.
Information about Crocodile Dundee 2 is fairly accessible on the internet. A google search brought up about 1,680 results although some of these web pages were empty and some were doubles. A lot of the pages had to do with Crocodile Dundee 3 and Crocodile Dundee because one of these films is current and the other is very popular.
The plot in Crocodile Dundee 2 is simple, Sue Charlton (Linda Kozlowski) receives photographs of her friend getting shot by Colombian drug dealers, Rico (Hechter Ubarry) and Miguel (Juan Fernandez), and consequently gets kidnapped by the same drug dealers. Mick 'Crocodile' Dundee (Paul Hogan) comes to the rescue and saves Sue using his inner New York city contacts. These two escape to outback Australia, where Mick originally comes from, only to be followed by the Colombian drug lords who want to kill Mick and Sue. In the outback Mick gets help from some old friends including Walter O'Reilly (John Meillon) and Charlie (Ernie Dingo). I think that this sequel is more than a comedy like the original, it has characteristics of other genres such as action and adventure. This film does not have the "fish-out-of-water" comedy of the first when Mick doesn't know how to react to the big city but still contains some of the old survivalist skills in the city such as when Mick shows the kids in the park how straight he can throw by hitting a moving Coke can with a rock.
Crocodile Dundee 2 fits into the Australian national cinema as a medium sized English language cinema in different ways. During the 1980's the Australian characteristics of a film weren't on-screen, they were in the way the film was made (O'Regan, 1989, pg 125). The genre film was a good example and this is where Crocodile Dundee 2 fits in. This movie was an example of an Australian genre film which could have been mistaken for a film made in Hollywood. The genre Crocodile Dundee 2 fits into could be comedy, adventure or even action.
Crocodile Dundee used a narrative structure which could be familiar to any Hollywood movie but still found a way to look and feel distinctly Australian (Mayer, 1999, pg 89). This was no different for the sequel which used the classic Hollywood narrative and generic conventions but still felt like an Australian movie. The classic Hollywood narrative I refer to is the conflict (Sue Charlton getting kidnapped), hero comes to save the day (Mick Dundee saves his wife). This is very common in Hollywood and was used in the 1980's for Australian films.
With Australia having a medium sized English language cinema it means that our national cinema has to compete with other cinemas of the same type. The medium size stems from the amount of film Australia produces per year. To be a medium sized cinema around 30 feature films per year have to be made. The American national cinema, Hollywood, is a large sized cinema because it makes much more than 30 films per year.
The English language characteristic comes from the fact that most Australians have English as their first language. Most Australian films are imported by other English speaking countries. For example between 1985 and 1991 53 Australian feature films were imported by the UK and 64 by the USA, while only 26 were imported by Germany and 10 by Spain (O'Regan, 1996, pg 82).
The title of medium sized English language cinema means that Australia has to compete with other English language cinemas such as Hollywood and the UK national cinema as well as other medium sized cinemas such as the Dutch national cinema and the Swedish national cinema (O'Regan, 1996, pg 90).
Crocodile Dundee 2 fits into the medium sized English language cinema because it is one of the 30 or so feature films made per year and is in the English language. This movie was one of the movies that the USA and the UK both imported between 1985 and 1991. Crocodile Dundee 2 was also made on a lower budget than most Hollywood films which is another characteristic of a medium sized cinema compared to a larger sized cinema. These characteristics meant that Crocodile Dundee 2 had to compete with Hollywood films, British films as well as some of the films made in other medium sized cinemas such as Holland or Sweden.
Crocodile Dundee 2 was marketed as a blockbuster. A blockbuster is only two or three films per year and involves huge publicity budgets which can exceed the production budget for the movie (O'Regan, 1989, pg 134). Crocodile Dundee 2 was one of only a few blockbuster films of 1988 and had a huge marketing and publicity budget which involved advertisements and large premiers.
Crocodile Dundee 2 was not as successful as the original but still did fairly well in the box offices. The film is very formulaic, ala Hollywood cinema and could be mistaken for a Hollywood movie, however, it still has its moments such as the start when Mick Dundee is fishing in New York using dynamite. The film fits into the eighties landscape of Australian cinema well with it being a genre and blockbuster movie and fitting into the fact that the Australian national cinema is a medium sized English language cinema. Crocodile Dundee 3 has done even worse in the box offices than the second and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. Will Paul Hogan make a fourth installment of this series, only time will tell.
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O'Regan, T. (1996), Australian National Cinema, Routledge, London
(1999) The Oxford Companion to Australian Film, ed. McFarlane, B., Mayer., G. and Bertrand, I., Oxford University Press
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Crocodile Dundee 2, dir. John Cornell, 1988
Crocodile Dundee, dir. Peter Faiman, 1986
Picnic At Hanging Rock, dir. Peter Weir, 1975
Gallipoli, dir. Peter Weir, 1980
Dr. Doolittle, dir. Betty Thomas, 1997
Liar Liar, dir. Tom Shadyac, 1996
Almost An Angel, dir. John Cornell, 1990
The Picture Show Man, dir. John Power, 1977
Muriel's Wedding, dir. Paul J. Hogan, 1994
Doing Time For Patsy Cline, dir. Chris Kennedy, 1997
My Mother Frank, dir. Mark Lamprell, 2000
Lightning Jack, dir. Simon Wincer, 1994
Flipper, dir. Alan Shapiro, 1996
Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles, dir. Simon Wincer, 2001
Pass The Ammo, dir. David Beaird, 1988
The Neighbor, dir. Rodney Gibbons, 1993
Backstreet Justice, dir. Chris McIntyre, 1994
Village Of The Damned, dir. John Carpenter, 1995