Somebody at Paramount Pictures must have owed Paul Hogan a humongous favor to green-light "Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles." Before even seeing the movie, I could have told you it's 15 years too late for another sequel in this series.
But that's the least of the problems with this lifeless, asinine, staggeringly inept mess of haggard franchise gags, out-of-date pop culture japes and Hollywood backlot antics that are less realistic than the tour at Universal Studios.
The obscenely contrived plot follows Mick Dundee, girlfriend Sue Charlton (Linda Kozlowski) and their son Mikey (Serge Cockburn) to L.A. as Sue takes over the local newsroom of her dad's newspaper chain. The previous bureau chief died suspiciously while poking around the finances of a B-grade studio that cranks out money-losing action flicks for Eastern Europe. Could all these mean-looking toughs in ponytails and shark skin suits be -- oh, I don't know -- crooked?
Meanwhile, Mick and Mikey meander around aimlessly in search of SoCal lifestyle caricatures so trite and tired I remember reading most of them in Mad Magazines during the 1970s. Not content with just passé California humor, director Simon Wincer (could that last name be any more appropriate?) and Hogan (who wrote most of the movie) go out of their way to set up rim shots about The Clapper and Geraldo Rivera's trashy talk show -- which went off the air four years ago.
They flagrantly recycle material from the first "Dundee" picture, like a "hilariously" modern Aborigine wearing a loin cloth and carrying a cell phone, and Mick turning the tables on a Latino mugger in a low-rider ("They don't even get out of their cars to mug you," he deadpans).
Oh, and let's not forget the run-time-padding cameos. Dundee and Junior learn to meditate from Mike Tyson, whom they spot sitting Buddha-style in a city park during an otherwise unmotivated stroll. Of course they have no idea who he is, isn't that funny? They meet him because Mikey says "Hey Dad, what's that man doing?" and Mick replies, "Let's go ask him." Now that's screenwriting!
Eventually the plot lands Dundee on a studio backlot when he goes undercover as a movie extra to sniff out the bad guys' art smuggling ring. This leads to an anti-climatic showdown involving an escaped lion and Mick's animal kingdom Jedi mind trick (wiggling his thumb and pinky while staring with a cocked head) -- which has already been used two or three times in the previous reels.
Paul Hogan seems utterly bored as he wades through this quicksand quagmire of antiquated Hollywood satire that hasn't an ounce of bite. Linda Kozlowski (who has had a face life that makes her look like Jenna Elfman in Saran Wrap) delivers her lines with all the enthusiasm of a cardboard cutout. In fact, Wincer seems wholly incapable of culling even one convincing performance from a single actor in the entire picture.
Honestly, Hogan's Subaru commercials have 200 times the spirit and charm of "Dundee 3" (apparently a shameless shill, the actor drives an Outback throughout the film). You could count the kernels of popcorn stuck on the floor beneath your seat at this movie and be equally entertained.
Had I not been interviewing Hogan a few days after the screening, I wouldn't have hesitated for a second to flee this painfully pathetic debacle.