Office Christmas Party
Another reminder that allowing your cast to madly improvise instead of actually providing a coherent script with a scintilla of inherent logic often leads to…
They made this kind of movie better in the 1930s, when audiences were more accustomed to the reliable old story line: aggressive female newspaper reporter from New York tracks down legendary wilderness guide in the Outback, is saved from crocodiles, falls in love, asks living legend to return with her to New York to meet her millionaire daddy and her fiance, a wimp. Clark Gable and Carole Lombard could have made this movie. Maybe they did.
"Crocodile Dundee" knows the words to this story, but not the music. All of the cliches are in the right places, most of the gags pay off and there are moments of real amusement as the Australian cowboy wanders around Manhattan as a naive sightseer. The problem is that there's not one moment of chemistry between the two stars: Paul Hogan as "Crocodile" Dundee and Linda Kozlowski as the clever little rich girl. The movie feels curiously machine-made, as if they had all the right ingredients and simply forgot to add the animal magnetism.
The movie's getting a lot of attention because of Hogan, a former truck driver who has become one of Australia's top TV stars. He is known here for those Australian tourism commercials in which he reminds us about who has the America's Cup. He's a lean, tanned, weathered man with a perpetual squint, and he looks right at home when he's stabbing crocodiles and strangling snakes. His co-star is not as well-cast: Kozlowski always looks a little too made up, a little too formal to be able to really unwind and accept this sweaty folk hero.
When she smiles at him, it's politely, not passionately. Maybe she's downwind.