Paul Hogan found himself embroiled in an ugly dispute with the Writer's Guild when he gave himself a screenwriter's credit on the second sequel to his 1986 smash hit. It serves him right for trying to revive a character 13 years past his sell-by date.
After the phenomenal worldwide success of "Crocodile Dundee" and its 1988 follow-up, Hogan's attempts to broaden his range resulted in a series of embarrassing flops ("Almost An Angel", "Lightning Jack"). So it's hardly surprising to find the Australian comic falling back on his most famous creation in a last-ditch stab at box office glory.
The problem is that, while the world has moved on, Hogan hasn't. He may be even more leathery now than the crocodiles he wrangles, but his one-note brand of culture-clash comedy is still rooted in the beer-swilling Aussie stereotypes of the 1980s. Mick Dundee is not so much a fish out of water these days as terminally behind the times, and shifting the action from New York to Los Angeles does little to dispel the air of déjà vu.
The plot finds Mick joining his journalist wife (Linda Kozlowski) and their ten-year-old son on a Californian jaunt, though no sooner has he got through customs than he is up to his neck in a scheme to smuggle precious artworks from the former Yugoslavia. Bizarre cameo appearances from George Hamilton and Mike Tyson bring fleeting interest to the sluggish narrative, but Linda Kozlowski's lifeless performance explains why she only works in her husband's movies.
"Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles" is released in UK cinemas on Friday 24th August 2001.
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