Crocodile Dundee II (1988) — More bite for your buck

“Mick, be careful. This isn’t a game.” “It is to me.”

Justin’s rating: I don’t think I’d eat any fish dredged up from New York harbor

Justin’s review: I think we need some sort of shorthand term for when the whole world seems to love a particular entry in a movie series — but you actually adore the sequel. Or prequel. Or whatever everyone usually dismisses. You know what I’m talking about, yeah? Because that’s how I’ve always felt about Crocodile Dundee II.

Mind you, I really like the first movie and have no beef with it, but the sequel? People, the sequel is where it’s at. When I was a kid, I watched this one all the time, and my adoration of it hasn’t diminished as an adult. It’s simply funnier with a better plot, better score, and better moments. And instead of being a retread of the first movie, it’s kind of a reverse of it. The first movie went from Australia to NYC; this one goes from the Big Apple to the outback.

Mick Dundee (Paul Hogan) and his girlfriend Sue Charlton (Linda Kozlowski) are still enjoying life together in NYC, although Mick keeps things a bit wild by fishing in the harbor and sleeping on the floor. However, when Sue’s ex-husband Bob is killed over some pictures he took of a drug cartel leader, the threat of death is enough to shake their happy relationship.

After rescuing Sue from a kidnapping, Mick decides that he can’t defend her in this unfamiliar landscape. So he and Sue return to Australia as the drug lord is hot on his tail.

What ensues in the second half of the movie is a great cat-and-mouse game where Mick ends up taking out all of the bad guys with a variety of tricks and goofs, all from his intimate knowledge of the land. At no point do you think that the cartel leader is going to win — the fun is in knowing that from the first moment he touched foot on Australia soil, he was so badly outmatched that it was going to be a hoot watching him and his cronies taken down.

By swapping out a romcom for a Die Hard– or Rambo-lite romp, Crocodile Dundee II ends up being a lot more enjoyable on the whole. Sure, you — and the world — can disagree with me on this one, but it wouldn’t have deterred me back in the ’80s, and it won’t tear me away today.

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