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Crocodile Dundee/Crocodile Dundee II – Double Feature (Blu-ray Review)

Crocodile-DundeeIt’s kind of funny, had this been 1986 and local newsletter mag called Why So VHS and Crocodile Dundee come across the table for review, us writers may have been chomping at the bit and fighting each other for the chance to review the tape.  Instead, its 2014 and the double feature release of not only the first one, but part 2 included as well, comes as sort of an afterthought.  I think it came across as sort of a conceded “sure, I’ll do it”.  And that’s wild for a pair of films that were great big hits when they came out.  The first film was an absolute phenomenon when it came out.  While the box office number on it might make the youth of today shrug, it was massive back in 1986 and made the film sort of a phenomenon with a catch phrase that still gets used today (“That’s not a knife.  THAT’S a knife.).  How would these two films hold up today?  And would I be blinded by any sort of nostalgia viewing them?

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Crocodile Dundee 

Newsday reporter Sue Charlton head to the Australian outback to do a story on one Michael J. “Crocodile” Dundee.  Word had it that “Mick” had his leg eaten off by a crocodile, but that is seen as false upon arrival.  Sue follows this wild man through the outback seeing him do many incredible things and slowly falls for him.  She invites him back to New York city to finish up the story and he gets a taste of life in the big apple!

This film is two fish out of water stories in one.  The first being Sue in the Australian outback, and the first half of the film is very strong in that.  We get to learn a bit of who our characters are and see Mick in action.  The second half however, which I’m sure was what the big deal of this movie was back in 1986 is where things went south.  Its too obvious a fish out of water tale and is really nothing but.  If I had to wager, the film is a romantic comedy for the most part but its just such a random collection of scenes it really is paper thin with that narrative and any sort of focus.

When watching for this review, during the second half I was constantly reminded of The Room.  There are an incredible amount of tonal and behind the scenes similarities it was uncanny.  Both films came from independently wealthy men who wrote a script for themselves (yes, Paul Hogan wrote this) to play a character that was pretty much infallible and loved by everyone and CONSTANTLY told so.  And Kozlowski’s Sue is given nothing more to do in New York than to just look in awe at Mick (seriously, this was one of the hottest onscreen duos of the 80s too!).   Its just one of these productions has more money than the other.  But seriously Room fans, take a look, its just about the same, and the scenes tie together just about as irrelevantly as could possibly be.

Crocodile Dundee, big as it may have been, just kinda doesn’t really hold up besides a few classic parts and some nostalgia.  This was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay which just seems baffling now considering how random and inconsequential this movie gets the longer it goes.  And then it has the most romantic comedy of romantic comedy finishes you could possibly have to end it out that really is barely earned.  Its an entertaining movie, but nothing you’ll want to go back to ever.

Crocodile Dundee 1

Crocodile Dundee II 

Long story short, Sue Charlton’s ex-husband is photographing a drug kingpin executing a guy in South America for the CIA.  He is scene and later murdered.  But, not before he sent the film to Sue.  The drug lord gets word and kidnaps Sue until he can get the film that is in the possession of her boyfriend Mick Dundee.  After rescuing Sue, they are put into a safehouse in…AUSTRALIA!

Basically, this sequel is a reverse of the previous film.  Start in New York, end in Australia.  Except, I found this one to be a little more engaging as it is a light spirited action film and actually has some semblance of a plot to follow, unlike the last time.  It does have some of the same eyerolling  moments that the first contained, but its not as bad as that’s not ALL there is.  And, the story is even worse for Sue as she barely was much in the first film, is now a damsel in distress in the sequel.

There are also some good recognizable character actors that show up in the sequel.  Charles S Dutton shows up as Mick’s “man on the street” type character that helps him when he needs a hand.  Dutton’s presently instantly gives this film something more than the first ever had.  While he only has one scene, Stephen Root is quite entertaining as he chases down Mick.  He’s also got a funny moment in the bathroom.  Funny enough, later known mainly for comedic turns, Luis Guzman is a tough guy in the drug lords gang.

I’m probably in the minority in rating this film higher than the first, but this one actually gives the characters something to do  and something to chase after (or from).  The first film was just enamored with “hey look at this Australian guy with that accent of his” and didn’t do much of anything else.  Even if this one is Crocodile Dundee thrown into a soft generic action plot, it at least did something.  The film was also a big hit, thought not as big as the first but back in the day sequels were kind of expected to do less total.

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Video

Crocodile Dundee 

Crocodile Dundee II 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2:39.1 (both)

Clarity/Detail: I was kind of shocked by how good the first film looked.  Its really a bold, sharp and detailed image.  The second film gets close, but is a little bit lesser (it might be due to some brighter outback scenes).  Both films are pretty rich in detail and look terrific and like they were spent time on when doing the transfer and HD mastering.  There were moments in the first film that looked like some digital work was done to it, but its very few and far between.

Depth:  Both films feature a solid amount of depth, the first one besting of the two.  Some great shots of a character in front of a wide open outback or New York make for some really good scale and 3 dimensional feel.

Black Levels:  Black levels are pretty dark for the first film and while it helps with some sharpness, there a few scenes where detail is lost.  This isn’t really an issue with the second movie.

Color Reproduction: Striking colors that are rich and bold.

Flesh Tones: Consistent with high detail in medium and close up shots.

Noise/Artifacts: There’s a nice layer of grain on both films (heavier for the first) and some random dust, but for the most part these are good clean.

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Audio

Crocodile Dundee 

Crocodile Dundee II 

Audio Format(s): English 2.0 DTS-HD MA (Crocodile Dundee), English 5.1 DTS-HD MA (Crocodile Dundee II), French Mono Dolby Digital, Spanish Mono Dolby Digital, Portuguese Mono Dobly Digital

Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese

Dynamics:  Both tracks prove pretty solid.  The 2nd film features some really good detail on sound effects.  Both film sound very good and clean, but aren’t really anything to go bragging about to your friends.

Low Frequency Extension (Crocodile Dundee II only): Crocodile Dundee features some solid use of the subwoofer.  During the opening the dynamite in the ocean lets off a good boom as well as some other moments in the film including plenty of score.

Surround Sound Presentation (Crocodile Dundee II only): Not a whole lot of play here.  Probably could have been just as effective with a 2.0 stereo track like the first film.

Dialogue Reproduction:  Dialogue was clear and center focused.

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Extras 

Crocodile Dundee

Theatrical Trailer (HD, 2:40)

Crocodile Dundee II

Behind-The-Scenes-Featurette (HD, 5:25) – An EPK piece from back in 1988 where everyone talks how great it is, being “one and a half times better than the first”.

Theatrical Trailer (HD, 1:55)

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Summary 

It could be mistaken that Paramount is “dumping” these two films onto Blu-ray with it being a double feature and no new bonus material (bare minimal ones included at that).  But, the films both get their own disc, and the audio and video quality look like they did take the care to bring them to the high definition format.  Both films look and sound pretty damn good.  If you’re on a nostalgia binge, or are actually a big fan of these films, do not hesitate to pull the trigger on buying them.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

2 Responses to “Crocodile Dundee/Crocodile Dundee II – Double Feature (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Eric Flapjack Ashley

    I’m in the real minority as I didn’t think either of these movies were very good. But they were better than the desperate third movie!

  2. Brandon Peters

    I wouldn’t say you are a minority on it moreso than you were born much after its relevancy and past its expiration date. I think you had to be living during the time when these movies came out to sort of understand or have a feel for them.

    I admitted, going back…the first one especially, was really a movie full of random scenes and no real narrative other than the attractive characters apparently fall in love.

    They’re a product of their time, and if you weren’t alive in that time then you kinda miss the boat. And nothing wrong with that at all.