Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles

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Mick “Crocodile” Dundee is an Australian roughneck who is a total fish out of water when he gets to the United States. He literally doesn’t even know it’s the 21st century. Who could ever be so utterly clueless and out of touch with modern society?

I’ll tell you: the people who thought the world was clamoring for another “Crocodile Dundee” sequel.

A mere 13 years after the last one, the new film is slow-moving and dull-witted, but also gentle, friendly and good-natured. There’s nary a poop joke to be found, which is a refreshing change, especially considering how many animals are in the movie. And for as lame a character as he is — the man is baffled by remote controls but manages to drive in L.A. freeway traffic — Crocodile Dundee is eminently likable. Sure, there may be a touch of pity in your affection for him, but nice is nice.

In this movie, Mick and long-time gal pal Sue (Linda Kozlowski) move to Beverly Hills so Sue can take over as editor of a newspaper owned by her father, following the mysterious death of the former boss. (This is suspicious already, as I have worked in newspaper for 10 years and can tell you that editors are a dime a dozen. Most papers wouldn’t cross the street to find a replacement, much less fly one in from Australia. But I digress.)

Her predecessor was investigating unusual activities by Silvergate Pictures, a new production company whose only films so far have been flops. She and Mick both suspect something is fishy, and Mick goes undercover, first as an extra and then as a monkey wrangler, to investigate.

That’s the official plot. It actually gets ignored for a long time so that Mick, his son Mikey (Serge Cockburn), and buddy Jacko (Alec Wilson) can wander around L.A. and be amazed at all the wackiness before outsmarting it. Mick outsmarts a car full of muggers; Mick outsmarts a pickpocket; Mick outsmarts an animatronic snake on the Paramount studio tour; etc.

It’s all harmless, relatively entertaining stuff. There are several smiles, a few chuckles and a couple of laughs. It’s not unbearably stupid or absurd, nor is it annoying. That’s not a glowing recommendation, to be sure, but it puts it ahead of most recent family-oriented comedies.

B- (; PG, a few mild profanities, some crudeness,.)

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