The second highest grossing movie of 1986 was a little movie named Crocodile Dundee. A surprise hit. A hit that immediately warrants a sequel. Especially considering the fact that the 80s was the decade that basically invented “the franchise”. Rocky, Superman, Police Academy and tons of horror series. In the 80s studios learned how to make a quick buck by recycling a proven formula. So a mere two years after the sudden success of Crocodile Dundee a sequel was released with the wildly imaginative title “Crocodile Dundee II”.
The first movie revolved around Australian outback expert Mick Dundee (Paul Hogan) experiencing a stay in New York. It was a classic fish out of the water story. Most of the humor came from Mick and how unknowing he is about life in the big city. From greeting everybody on the streets of New York to not knowing what a prostitute or transvestite is. By the end of the movie Mick knew his way around New York and got the girl.
Crocodile Dundee II picks up a couple of months after the previous movie. Mick is still living in new York with Sue (Linda Kozlowski), the reporter that brought him to America. Mick is a bit of a local celebrity as everybody seems to be on a first name basis with him. Like the kids in a playground and even the police. Getting restless, Mick tries a couple of new things like looking for a job. Meanwhile Sue becomes the target of a Colombian drug cartel. An ex of her has sent her a couple of compromising photos of a drug lord executing someone. The cartel will go to great lengths to prevent these photos from seeing the light of day.
This results in Sue getting kidnapped. Mick does everything in his power to get her back and actually succeeds with the help of a bunch of New Yorkers. But since the cartel keeps coming after them he sees no choice but to take her to the only place he can keep her safe himself: Australia.
Crocodile Dundee II turns the story around. This time the movie starts in New York and ends up in Walkabout Creek, Australia. This brings the Crocodile Dundee series to a full circle. Duologies normally tend to feel a bit unfinished, but not in this case.
In terms of tone the movie goes from a purely comedic movie to an action comedy. While trying to rescue Sue and eventually playing a game of cat and mouse with the cartel Mick basically becomes a non lethal version of Rambo. Most of the comedy in the second act comes from him playing tricks on the group of people trying to track him.
One of the things that struck me immediately was how old Paul Hogan actually looks in the movie. A quick look at his birth date reveals that he was about 49 when he made this movie. So that makes sense. Not many people break through as a leading man at that age, certainly not in action movies. His co-star and love-interest both on and off set, Linda Kozlowski, was only 29 when she made this movie. Quite the age difference.
Crocodile Dundee II is much like the average 80’s sequel. Not quite as good or original as the first movie, but still very entertaining. A sidekick to the leading character. It shows us more of the crafty bushman the first movie only hinted at in the first act.
Crocodile Dundee didn’t need a sequel, but Crocodile Dundee II is a worthy follow up that brings enough fresh elements to the table. It’s a good duology that didn’t need that third chapter we eventually got.