I Saw A Film!
We meet Dundee in a little skiff, dynamiting fish in NYC harbor, like any good sportsman. As the cops discover him, he manages a cute repartee with a sergeant who lets him off with bemused resignation. Oh that lovable Aussie weirdo! Next he’s teaching some little nippers about animal tracks in the playground. But really, Dundee wants a job, and soon enough finds himself involved in some unfortunate cocaine moving. We are treated to an early Stephen Root role as a DEA agent (later to be obsessed with staplers, and staring at hamsters) when Dundee sticks a knife in his crotch as he pees. Some silly hi-jinx with Japanese tourists who mistake him for Clint Eastwood are a little insensitive. Before long some baddies kidnap Dundee’s lady and he enlists the help of a gang of Fame rejects to help him cop some Abbot and Costello routines as they raid the mansion of the chief drug runner. Sound good so far? We’re just getting going!
For part two of this laborious adventure Dundee flies back to Aussie-land with his lady so they can better evade the criminals while camping out in the bush. Tedious nonsense with bats, snakes, and crocodile skins ensues, when Dundee could just shoot the louse and end the whole problem. I’m just saying that the point of the film was to show off some kind of outback skills while rescuing his lady, but the skills aren’t exactly authentic let alone even likely. Some hi-jinx with some Aborigines are a little insensitive. And when our protagonists are not just shooting back but doing so with glee, a certain integrity is lost. Hitting back, of course, is sometimes necessary, but when the real horrors of the war could be avoided by assassinating Hitler, wouldn’t that have been the answer all along?
The best thing that came out of the brief national fascination with Dundee might be the old Pro-wrestling team the Bushwackers, whose schtick far outlasted Paul Hogan’s.
This is running free on ‘murican prime and if you’re interested in Australia there are some good nature shows and an excellent (1971) film called Walkabout.