At the age of 80, Australian icon Paul Hogan reteams with writer and director Dean Murphy, after Strange Bedfellows (2004), Charlie and Boots (2009), and That’s Not My Dog! (2018), for this lazy look at the Hoges legacy. Premiering on Prime Video this week, The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee uses the impending occasion of Hogan’s (fictional) knighthood to drift through 90 minutes of loosely connected sketches and celebrity cameos, occasionally pausing to remind us that back in the ‘80s absolutely everyone loved Crocodile Dundee.
And yes, I did too, and you certainly cannot understate that flick’s key role in putting Australia on the world stage. But it was a long, long time ago, a fact that Mr. Dundee both pokes fun at and wants us to forget. There’s a tension here between sending up Hoges and making fun of his position as a washed up celebrity (which is where much of the film’s humour comes from) and treating its subject with the respect he ostensibly deserves, which undercuts that same humour. This is not Bojack Crocman.