In 2018, the internet blew up when a ‘trailer’ for a new Crocodile Dundee film starring Chris Hemsworth and Danny McBride showed up online and screened during the Super Bowl. We soon found out it was all a fake and just an advertising campaign from Tourism Australia, but it seemed to spark a want for a new Crocodile Dundee film from fans. Unfortunately, what they got is The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee, a film that nobody asked for!
In The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee we see Paul Hogan enjoying a quiet retirement in Brentwood, California. But after Paul accidentally throws a snake at a teacher, he himself is flung back into the spotlight thanks to the tabloids. What ensues is a dumpster fire of a film full of bland, non-funny gags and cameos. It’s no surprise this ended up going straight to streaming!
The story is all over the place, like they just put a bunch of ideas in a hat and drew them out. There’s very little character development and the film seems to rely on cameos to keep the interest going. The jokes and ‘comedy of errors’ gags are just cringeworthy and probably wouldn’t even get a ‘LOL’ from a 12-year-old. Meanwhile some jokes borderline on just being inappropriate for the current times, with the writers poking fun at racism in several ways. The highlight of the film for me was the 2-minute stage musical parody of the classic “that’s not a knife” scene we all know and love.
Supposedly set in California, the majority of the film was quite obviously filmed in Melbourne, Australia, like there was very little attempt to hide that fact. The chase scenes featured many Australian cars, including an AU Ford Falcon police car, a car not available in the USA. I get the budget was nowhere near big enough to film overseas, but at least try a little harder to make it not look so Australian!
Honestly, through no fault of Paul Hogan himself, The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee is nothing but an attempted cash grab, trying to cash in on the hype brewed by the Australian Tourism advertising campaign. The film falls flat and puts a horrible stain on the Dundee name and a franchise that we know and love. A Crocodile Dundee stage musical though? I could get behind that!
The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee is streaming now on Stan.