Archive for Crocodile Dundee

It’s been 35 years and I still can’t stop thinking about Crocodile Dundee II

Posted in COMMENT with tags , , on February 1, 2023 by Ross McG

Six years. Six years since either of us Rosses have posted anything on this crummy site.

You know how much it costs to keep a website going for six years without posting anything? Yeah, not much.

In those six years, Ross McD (him) and Ross McG (me) have seen each other… once. The Atlantic Ocean has that affect on late 2000s blog bromances.

But how many times have I watched Crocodile Dundee II in that same period? The whole way through? Again, probably just once. How many times though have I thought about Crocodile Dundee II in the past six years? Oh that’s easy. Once. Once every day.

And the thought it always this: Crocodile Dundee II is one of the most gorgeous looking films ever made, and nobody talks about this.

And I’m not going to either. Not yet, anyway.


First, we have to talk about Crocodile Dundee II as a thing, a sequel that financially made all the sense in the world yet, for me at least, has become a movie monolith – inexplicable.

For those of you who did not grow up in fashion’s worst decade, 1988’s Crocodile Dundee II (even the Roman numerals are off, a film like this usually carries a big fat ‘2’) is the sequel to 1986’s Crocodile Dundee.

Croc Dun One, as no one but me just then called it, was a riot, a fish-out-of-water tale that turned into a whale, grossing more than $300m worldwide and getting outperformed in the US by only one other film: Top Gun. Where’s the sequel for that one, huh?

Audiences were so taken by the adventures of Mick Dundee (Paul Hogan) in New York that he was back on the big screen within two years in the inevitable sequel. Crocodile Dundee II was The Way of Water of its day – it took in a tonne of money ($230m) then everyone tried to pretend it didn’t exist.

But thank goodness it does, because it looks phenomenal.


The eight-year-old me saw it in the appropriately opulent surroundings of the Grand Opera House in Belfast, on a day trip with our town youth club summer scheme, and while I loved the clothes-switch ending, which has always stayed with me, I quickly forgot about Mick and his adventure in the outback (unlike the original, most of Crocodile Dundee II takes place Down Under).

But then something happened.

I caught Croc 2 a few years back on TV, and it’s been doing the rounds of Film4 or ITV4 ever since. Like Jaws or Predator or that dire third Taken movie, it’s never not on television.

Crocodile Dundee II is far from a masterpiece – it’s kind of the original but in reverse order, and with a needless drug cartel/kidnap plot tacked on – but my obsession with it stems from just how damned fine it looks.

I’ve never classed myself as one of those ‘Oh, the cinematography was masterful!’ buffs, because deep down every wannabe film critic accepts they don’t know the first thing about cinematography. But even my untrained eye is always opened by the popping vistas and bright colours of Crocodile Dundee II. No cash cow sequel should look this wonderful.

The man largely responsible for that look is Australian cinematographer Russell Boyd, and everything starts to make sense after a quick glance through his CV.


He also shot the first Crocodile Dundee movie, but the budget almost doubled for the sequel, and frankly, it looks like a good chunk of that money was wisely thrown at the screen.

Boyd may not be the best known cinematographer – he’s not a superstar name like Roger Deakins or Emmanuel Lubezki – but he’s had a hand in crafting some of the best – and best looking – movies across five decades.

Most of these were done in collaboration with one of my favourite directors, Peter Weir, on beautiful works of art such as 1975’s Picnic At Hanging Rock, the closest thing to an Impressionist painting come to life, and 2003’s Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, for which he won a deserved Oscar.

Boyd was also behind the camera on two of the greatest sports movies of the 1990s, White Men Can’t Jump and Tin Cup, both directed by Ron Shelton.

And you know what? I’d put flipping Crocodile Dundee II up there with any of them in the visual feast stakes.

Ignore the film’s 9% rating on Rotten Tomatoes – and while you’re at, ignore Rotten Tomatoes altogether, it’s a pointless site – Crocodile Dundee II is a glorious piece of cinema eye candy.

Happy 35th birthday, CDII…