Crocodile Dundee Parent Review
To be honest the only thing I remembered about Crocodile Dundee was the scene in which Michael J. Dundee (Paul Hogan) and newspaper jounalist Sue Charlton (Linda Kozlowski) are threatened by a thug with a switchblade on a New York street. Unflustered by the demand for his wallet, Dundee reaches for his own weapon.
“That’s not a knife,” he says motioning to the thug’s cutter. Then pulling a large bowie knife out of his pants he nods to it and says, “That’s a knife.” With the tip of his blade he then slices the sleeve of the assailant’s jacket and sends the boy and his buddies scampering away like whipped dogs.
Unfortunately, that is one of the better moments in this 1985 movie starring Paul Hogan as the irrepressible Australian crocodile hunter who gains notoriety after supposedly being attacked by one of the large aquatic reptiles. Dundee and his business partner Walter Reilly (John Meollon) have seemingly embellished the story of Dundee’s miraculous journey back from the jaws of death and used it to spawn a tourist attraction of sorts.
When Sue gets wind of the event, her reporter instincts kick in and she signs up for a personally guided tour to the location of the battle. Along the way she has her own encounter with a crocodile and is saved by Dundee. The story she files spawns a lot of interest at the paper back home and eventually she talks the croc hunter into coming to The Big Apple with her. Her plans are to run a series on him. However, there’s always an aura of uncertainty swirling around the Aussie. While Sue seems attracted by Dundee’s rugged approach to life, viewers likely won’t be sure if this character is really as naive as he appears or if he’s just playing games with some gullible New Yorkers.
The other issue swirling around this comedy is the quagmire of content concerns that may arise for many parents. For instance, Dundee watches from a hidden place in a tree while Sue removes her dress and reveals a thong swimsuit (with plenty of emphasis on her bare buttocks). His mannerisms are supposed to come across as ingenuous, but instead are often crass. After meeting his first transvestite, Dundee grabs the person’s groin to confirm the gender. Later he does the same to a woman that he suspects is a man. And we are expected to believe that Dundee has been so removed from society that he doesn’t even know about prostitutes—one of world’s oldest professions.
As well, the script also contains several strong sexual expletives, lots of alcohol use and one depiction of a man snorting cocaine. Along with numerous fistfights and frequent knife use, there are also several instances of animals being killed either for sport or safety reasons.
Crocodile Dundee is portrayed as a man’s man and maybe that is what draws Sue’s interest. He certainly is different than her citified boyfriend. But I have to wonder just how long his small-town, rough around the edges persona will be appealing before it starts to grate on this sophisticated big city working girl.Directed by Peter Faiman. Starring Paul Hogan, Linda Kozlowski, John Meillon. Running time: 97 minutes. Theatrical release September 26, 1986. Updated May 13, 2014
Get details on profanity, sex and violence in Crocodile Dundee here.
Crocodile Dundee Parents Guide
Is Crocodile Dundee appealing to Sue simply because he is unlike the men she knows? Could those differences be a good thing or a bad thing in a long-term relationship? What cultural challenges might they face over time? How long do you think Dundee will be content to stay in New York?
Do you think Dundee is as naive as he appears? Why does he seem to be a fish out of water in some scenes and completely in charge of the situation in others? How does Sue’s father feel about the croc hunter?