Time: 93 mins.
Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay.
SYNOPSIS: An American reporter goes to the Australian outback to meet an eccentric crocodile poacher and invites him to New York City.
BOTTOM LINE: A recent viewing of this 80s comedy has caused me to re-evaluate my feelings about this film. If you had talked to me in 1986, I would have given this man-out-of-water story a glowing review. A little age and distance hasn't benefited either of us. While DUNDEE's star Paul Hogan still holds some charm, the story fails to provide an overabundance of romance or humor.
Hogan plays an Australian crocodile hunter who accompanies a New York reporter (Kozlowski) back to the Big Apple, supposedly to help her story, but obviously because the two are meant for each other. In the first half of the film he teaches her how to survive the dangers of the Outback, in the second half she helps him navigate his way through the urban jungle. Most of the comedy plays off their attempts to prove themselves in the other's domain.
Hogan is quite likeable and though his naivité provides some of the film's best moments, the situations are far from believable. Despite falling in love offscreen, Hogan and Kozlowski fail to generate any heat, a big problem for a romantic comedy. Kozlowski looks more bored than turned on and seems constantly uncomfortable in the part. Besides her beauty, it's hard to understand why anyone would want to be with her.
"Tension" is added to the mix by a third wheel, ex-lover Neville (Gulpilil), who refuses to lose his meal ticket to a bumpkin from Down Under. Her choice at the end will come as no surprise to anyone, considering the options. You won't be overwhelmed by anything the film has to offer, but you will occasionally crack a smile at how Hogan navigates the world.