In the Army Now Recap

Jamie

Bones and Jack are a couple of slackers with big dreams for an electronics store. To pursue this they accept an easy check from the National Guard assuming they would never see action. Wrong. They are immediately called into Chad on the verge of war. Can these unlikely heroes save the day (and perhaps get the girl) before it’s too late? Find out in… In the Army Now.

How?! Bones and Jack are a couple of cra-a-a-zy boys (to use their parlance) who are fired from their job at an electronics store for mostly being slackers. Immature dreamers, they have hopes of opening their own electronics store, but don’t have the money (or talent, really). Enter the National Guard, which will pay them some money to be weekend warriors. Once they are in the army they are confronted with the harsh realities of boot camp. They probably goof off and almost get kicked out, right? Wrong. They are model soldiers and grow into more responsible adults. In fact, after they leave boot camp for the water purification unit they are top of their class with their teammates Fred and Christine. Upon graduation they revert to their immature, partying ways until they are shockingly called up to the front lines of a potential war in Chad. After attempting to get out of deployment through pure, distilled homophobia, they finally accept their mission. In Chad things get tough when Bones is targeted and harassed by a macho special forces soldier… and then even tougher when their truck breaks down during a mission… and then even tougher when Bones drives them into the desert where their other truck gets stuck… and then even tougher when they wander through the desert on the verge of death. But through his leadership they are able to make it to an oasis… but then it gets tough again when they are captured by Libyan forces. At the Libyan base they find the special forces soldier injured and they all manage to escape during an air strike. Finding some sweet dune buggies dropped for the special forces they are ready to leave Libya, but are ordered back to complete the mission of taking out the Libyan chemical weapons. During the dangerous mission Bones leads the group to victory and the missiles are destroyed. Back home they open their electronics store and show how much the Army helped them be all that they can be. THE END.

Why?! That sweet green, duh. One interesting aspect of the film is that Bones and Jack are immature and all that, but once they actually join the army they are pretty immediately improved for the better. We are supposed to see them backslide into their immature ways when first called up to Chad, but the rest of the film they are not just competent, but perfectly good at their jobs. Even when they are put in a horrific position by the Army, they step-up and get it done. Afterwards they have improved so much on a personal and professional level that I actually did believe they had a decent shot at making the electronics store work.

Who?! This is, of course, the last film in which Bredan Fraser appeared as his star-making character Link. A main character in Encino Man, he then shows up for cameos in both Son in Law and then this film. Hasn’t aged particularly well at this point… I’d love to see someone’s reaction to that now if they had never seen (or probably heard) of Encino Man… I know, hard to believe, but I imagine that the youngsters these days aren’t popping down to Hollywood Video to grab a copy of that comedy gem.

What?! This is one giant advertisement for the military, which is a bit difficult to swallow. It’s even mentioned in a paper about the propaganda model in Hollywood. The paper argues that despite the reputation of Hollywood as liberal, pretty much every film about the military is primarily pro-military. Given this film, I tend to agree.

Where?! This is what this whole cycle was built for. Starting in California (and then likely moving from there to Oklahoma for basic training), we end up shipping off to Chad… what are the chances? The characters ping pong between there and Libya for pretty much the rest of the film. Interesting that it even has a role to play in the plot, as Lori Petty’s character mentions she chose water purification as a specialty because of the likely war in Chad and the need for such a service. Gotta give it an A just for that.

When?! I honestly don’t know. This is one of those films where there is a good chance there is some hidden information regarding when it takes place, but it’s not apparent for the viewer. Our only recourse is to get an original print of the film and scour the high-definition stills for the evidence. Until then this is an F.

This is… not a funny movie. Kinda hamstrings it for anyone who would even try to say it’s good. I’m not one of those people. It’s certainly not an offensive movie… or at least I wasn’t offended by how bad it was. It does have a pretty gross homophobic scene in the middle, though, where Bones and Jack try to get out of going to Chad by pretending to be lovers. Unconvinced, the commander requests that they kiss to prove it (even more offensive) at which point Bones and Jack resign themselves to the possibility that they may die. But besides that it flows along with Jack and Bones proving at each step that they are learning and maturing due to the time spent in the military. Overall, it’s impossible to say that I enjoyed the movie. To say that would be to say that I like not funny and periodically offensive “comedies”… but I guess I didn’t think it was the worst. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Amazingly we never watched a Shore film in the 500+ films for BMT. He was a star that shone so bright for an instant, and this is probably the least popular of his five major films. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – I’ve (obviously) seen all of the Pauly Shore starring vehicles growing up given that I was his target demo in 1995 … except for this one. Until now. All I really knew about In the Army Now was that it was never really on television and seemed boring whenever I happened across it. Funny enough the notes suggest Pauly Shore’s agents were like “don’t do this, just be the weasel. Being something you aren’t is going to ruin your career” … and I distinctly remember just not being interested in the film partially because it didn’t really seem like a Pauly Shore film. Sounds like his agents nailed it. What were my expectations? To be bored. There was very little going for this. It isn’t that it is the worst Shore film of that era (that would be interesting). It is that it is the most uninteresting of the five films he starred in.

The Good – Weirdly, after a bit of a rough start, this film is probably Shore at his most charming. The weasel character is only funny when you are like 10 years old. As an adult I’m sure I would find Jury Duty and Bio-Dome especially grating. But here he seems like just a vaguely silly dude? It oddly works in what is mostly just a not very funny and not very interesting film. I thought the ensemble of Shore, Dick, Grier, and Petty was actually very cool. They work as a bunch of misfits who mature in the context of army training. Which brings me to the army storyline. It’s propaganda and a bit odd … but it is nice to see an anti-Stripes. Instead of the army changing to accommodate the silly slacker, the silly slacker matures to fit the army. I’ll get back to that in my You Just Got Schooled section.

The Bad – The film isn’t funny. Not at any moment. The film is also too obviously propaganda. That is the danger with going with that anti-Stripes track. Stripes, by making the army change to accomodate Bill Murray, ends up very earnestly poking fun at the U.S. military and thus doesn’t feel like propaganda. In the Army Now just feels like the message is “the army will mature you and make you a better person … join the army.” Just how mustache-twirling-ly evil the Libyans are in the film is also a little off. It doesn’t quite have the same amusing Cold War era needling of the Russians. Much like all of 90s U.S. foreign policy, it feels like they were just searching for a villain to fit the bill. What else … I mean the film is boring and unfunny, would not recommend. The end.

The BMT – We’ll finish off the Pauly Shore films eventually. That is the BMT legacy. And obviously the mapl.d.map aspect. There is very little chance another film will come along which takes place predominantly in Chad. So it’ll always have that going for it. As a matter of fact, it is possible this is the greatest obscure BMT setting we’ve ever had. I just wish the film was just a bit more good-bad. Did it meet my expectations? Yup, this film is almost precisely what I expected (except Shore being a competent soldier, that was unexpected). Unfunny, but it’s biggest crime is just being uninteresting. There are worse Shore films, and more entertaining Shore films, better Shore films, and weirder Shore films … this is the “other” Shore film.

Roast-radamus – I think this falls into a different category where a “team” is built. This is a decent team building movie. There is an odd Product Placement (What?) I think with the video game (3DO) playing at the top of the film … also it is a giant advertisement for the military as well. Obviously one of the greatest Setting as a Character (Where?) films as the film’s plot centers around an invasion of Chad. Otherwise I don’t think it’ll really have a chance at anything else … but hey, I think it has pretty good odds of snagging the Where? crown at the end of the year.

StreetCreditReport.com – It is amazing. Not only is the film not featured on any worst of lists for 1994 (including the Stinkers which gives dishonorable mentions to a ton of films), but I couldn’t even find it mentioned on worst military film lists! I think if I were to guess, it is because Son-in-Law was so well received, and the film doesn’t seem like a true travesty. Jury Duty would crater Shore’s career only one year later, so if anything this film only primed critics to wonder whether Shore had overstayed his welcome as a comedy star.

You Just Got Schooled – All of the reviews of this film focused on how this was very much not Stripes. If I hadn’t seen Stripes I would have watched that. Given that I had though I had to go a little deeper into the military comedy well: Private Benjamin. And there was a lot more in common with In the Army Now than I would have thought, particularly how Goldie Hawn matures via her training instead of the Army molding around her particular quirks. The movie itself has a strong performance by Hawn, but is very very scattered. The best bits are the basic training sequences in the middle third of the film. Then the film goes off the rails, with Hawn rising through the ranks extremely quickly, almost getting raped by her superior, parlaying that into an engagement to a rich French man, and then the film just ends with her breaking off the engagement leaving her out of the army and on the outs with her family … like what? Stripes also goes off the rails in the third act, so maybe this is just a military comedy thing. But in the end Hawn’s performance isn’t enough for me to actually recommend the film to anyone. So, much like with the In the Army Now reviews, just watch Stripes. It probably is the best military comedy ever made. C.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

In the Army Now Quiz

Huh, so I joined the army to try and commit a bit of light fraud, and I ended up in Chad of all places! The long short of it is my truck exploded and I got a pretty massive concussion and now I can’t remember a thing. Do you remember what happened in In the Army Now?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Where do Pauly Shore and Andy Dick work prior to joining the army?

2) And how do they learn about the Army Reserve and that sweet sweet “free” money they are a-offering?

3) And further, why does Pauly Shore decide to join the water purification unit?

4) Who is part of Pauly Shore’s water purification team and what are their various quirks?

5) What was Libya’s plan of attack that Shore and his team foil at the end of the movie?

BONUS: Four animals play a big part in Shore’s adventures in the desert. What are they?

Answers

In the Army Now Preview

Rich and Poe plunge into the water. A slow motion shot shows them float slowly downward as sad music plays. They are seemingly dead and this is the end of their story… the end of their quest… the end of their world… or is it?! Suddenly a beam of light shoots from Poe’s chest pointing their way to safety. They swim like a couple of totally majestic dolphins and burst forth onto a beautiful beach, sputtering for air. They look around. Their surroundings are so exotic. Just being able to place their eyes on such a beautiful exotic location makes everything seem way better than it actually is. “I… don’t understand… is this a new quest? Or did they kill us? Also why did that random beam of light shoot from your chest out of nowhere to save our lives?” Rich has so many questions and yet Poe has no answers. He sniffs the air and he turns quickly to Rich in panic, “do you smell that?” Rich sniffs too and narrows his eyes. “Is that…” but before he can finish the thought they both scramble up the nearest sand dune and lay eyes on a sea of fire and desert. It was all a facade. An oasis in a world of shit. Suddenly a convoy of trucks come screaming through the fire and smoke to come to a screeching halt in front of them. A small military man steps out of the nearest car and looks them up and down before nodding to a nearby soldier. The soldier steps up to Rich and Poe and thrusts some guns into their hands. “Congratulations,” he says in an unidentifiable (but definitely not racist) accent, “General Tiniman has recruited you. You are officially in the army now.” That’s right! We’re watching the Pauly Shore classic In the Army Now, which is set in the African country of Chad for some reason. It is somehow the first of the five major Pauly Shore films that we’ve done for BMT, which seems like a mistake. Let’s go!

In the Army Now (1994) – BMeTric: 51.8; Notability: 41 

IntheArmyNowIMDb_BMeT

IntheArmyNowIMDb_RV

(Great BMeTric obviously, and the notability is incredibly impressive. Looking through his filmography the notability for Shore-led films is always around 30-40. Sub-5.0 films are relatively rare. This is a film that was inevitable for BMT, and one I’m quite excited to actually see, since I’ve seen the other major Pauly Shore films.)

Leonard Maltin – 1.5 stars –  Pauly is a pacifist who joins the army so he can “be all that he can be for free,” only to learn that there’s more to enlisting than receiving complimentary room and board. Latest in a long line of barracks comedies proves no competition for Buck Privates. Pauly’s fans might disagree. Brendan Fraser appears unbilled.

(Absolute deep cut with Buck Privates, a comedy from 1941. Just whip that ref out like it’s nothing. And yeah, I think between the two Iraq wars there was a sense of, I don’t know … comedy about the army again. That would obviously go away real quick in the 2000s. I can’t think of a comedy-army film that has come out since the 90s to be honest … A brief look suggests Delta Farce might be a rare breed indeed.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8WQ8sgWaVU

(Ha, they call Encino Man “California Man” in the beginning, so this trailer is maybe for European consumption? I had to change all of those in the autogenerated preview because I think that is what it is called in the UK. Other than that it looks like a Pauly Shore movie. If that is what “toning down” the weasel character was to the producers … I don’t know what to say really.)

Directors – Daniel Petrie Jr. – (Future BMT: Toy Soldiers; Stranded; BMT: In the Army Now; Notes: Is the son of Daniel G. Petrie who won three Primetime Emmys, and Dorothy Petrie who won two Primetime Emmys. His brother, Donald Petrie, directed BMT classic Welcome to Mooseport.)

Writers – Steve Zacharias and Jeff Buhai  (story) – (Known For: Revenge of the Nerds; Future BMT: Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise; Johnny Be Good; Eddie; BMT: In the Army Now; Notes: Long time writing partners. They released the Johnny Be Good screenplay as a book in the early 2000s.)

Robbie Fox (story) – (Known For: So I Married an Axe Murderer; BMT: In the Army Now; Playing for Keeps; Notes: Son of Charles Fox, a composer who was nominated for two Oscars for original songs in the 70s.)

Ken Kaufman (screenplay) – (Known For: The Expendables 2; Space Cowboys; The Missing; Curious George; Muppets from Space; BMT: In the Army Now; Notes: In 2013 he wrote a novel called Ramblefoot.)

Stu Krieger (screenplay) – (Known For: The Land Before Time; Monkey Trouble; Future BMT: A Troll in Central Park; BMT: In the Army Now; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Where the Boys Are in 1985; Notes: Briefly wrote feature films in the mid-90s, he has mostly worked in television (both movies and shows). He developed the kid’s show Toot & Puddles.)

Daniel Petrie Jr. (screenplay) – (Known For: Beverly Hills Cop; Beverly Hills Cop II; Turner & Hooch; The Big Easy; Deadly Pursuit; Future BMT: Toy Soldiers; BMT: In the Army Now; Beverly Hills Cop III; Notes: Was was nominated for an Oscar for Beverly Hills Cop.)

Fax Bahr and Adam Small (screenplay) – (Known For: Bad Grandpa; Future BMT: Malibu’s Most Wanted; Son in Law; BMT: In the Army Now; Notes: These guys worked on In Living Color and MadTV together. Just prior Bahr, to start his career, made Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse, the acclaimed and award winning documentary about the making of Apocalypse Now.)

Actors – Pauly Shore – (Known For: A Goofy Movie; Pauly Shore Is Dead; Future BMT: Bio-Dome; Jury Duty; Sandy Wexler; The Wash; Encino Man; Son in Law; 18 Again!; Class Act; For Keeps?; BMT: Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star; In the Army Now; Razzie Notes: Winner for Worst Actor in 1996 for Jury Duty; and in 1997 for Big Bully, Bio-Dome, Carpool, and The Stupids; Winner for Worst New Star of the Decade in 2000 for Bio-Dome, Encino Man, and Jury Duty; Winner for Worst New Star for Encino Man in 1993; and Nominee for Worst Actor of the Century in 2000 for Bio-Dome, Encino Man, and Jury Duty; Notes: Debuted on MTV with Totally Pauly in the late 80s. From the 80s through 2010 he only actually starred in 5 films: Encino Man, Son-in-Law, In the Army Now, Jury Duty, and Bio-Dome. He hosts Random Rants on YouTube.)

Lori Petty – (Known For: A League of Their Own; Point Break; Free Willy; Tank Girl; Cadillac Man; Prey for Rock & Roll; Relax… It’s Just Sex; The Glass Shield; Future BMT: Dead Awake; Poetic Justice; BMT: In the Army Now; Notes: Was apparently originally cast in the Bullock role in Demolition Man, but left over creative differences. The Glass Shield was the last in a series of starring turns for her in the mid-90s.)

Andy Dick – (Known For: Old School; Road Trip; Laputa: Castle in the Sky; Zoolander; Dr. Dolittle 2; Funny People; The Cable Guy; Reality Bites; Hoodwinked; Permanent Midnight; For the Boys; Pauly Shore Is Dead; The Hebrew Hammer; Scotland, Pa.; The Independent; Future BMT: Inspector Gadget; The Comebacks; Happily N’Ever After; Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil; Blonde Ambition; Dude, Where’s My Car?; Loser; Employee of the Month; Bongwater; Best Men; Abducted; BMT: Zoolander 2; Double Dragon; In the Army Now; Notes: Allegedly reintroduced Phil Hartman’s wife to cocaine, something that would contribute to her murdering her husband and committing suicide. Had a years long feud with Jon Lovitz over it, although he denies any culpability. In the Army Now was a rare star turn for him, he was mostly a television actor (News Radio) and supporting comedic actor (like in Old School).)

Budget/Gross – N/A / Domestic: $28,881,266 (Worldwide: $28,881,266)

(That’s kind of okay. $10 million less than Son in Law which is probably the benchmark they were looking at. This is the beginning of the end for his starring career. Jury Duty would make $17 million, and then Bio-Dome would make $13 million, and that was it, he wouldn’t star in a feature film (of consequence) again.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 6% (2/32): This 1994 Pauly Shore vehicle stretches its star’s thin shtick to the breaking point with a laugh-deficient screenplay that borrows shamelessly from Bill Murray’s far superior Stripes.

(The comparisons to Stripes are thick across all reviews. Would a movie like this made now draw such comparisons? Probably not. Just because its popularity (and the popularity of Bill Murray in general) has waned so much in the last 25 years. But it is interesting that a film made nearly 15 years later is getting condemned to comparing unfavorably to a classic … like, can people not make comedies about the military unless they are better than Stripes? Reviewer Highlight: The screenplay, work by five writers, based on a story by three others, seems to have been rewritten often enough that any individuality has been lost. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times.)

Poster – Stupid Soldier

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(Hate the font. Hate the color. But I love the framing and think it’s a pretty well put together poster besides being aesthetically gross. B- Patrick’s Shallow Fake: Whenever these things compress they always look a bit off. Love that for no reason they have two totally different fonts. Decent shadow on my face this time, just needed to be a bit more matte? The idea behind the fake movie is that there is a super soldier serum that I take that makes me Captain America, but it also makes me super dumb for the duration of my super powers. Like … you can pay me for that spec whenever Netflix, the lines are open.)

Tagline(s) – America, sleep tight! The safety of the free world rests in his hands! (F)

(That is unpleasantly bad. Although now that Patrick is making parody posters and we have been trying to make up taglines for these films I do appreciate that there are probably larger forces at play a lot of the time when we get something bad like this. Like there is an obvious tagline in The Few, The Proud, The Stupid… but I think they had to tread carefully in their treatment of the military. So they went with something inoffensive but bad.)

Keyword – u.s. military

IntheArmyNow_u.s. military

Top 10: Midway (2019), Saving Private Ryan (1998), Top Gun (1986), Spider-Man (2002), Fury (2014), 2012 (2009), Platoon (1986), The Predator (2018), Stripes (1981), Black Hawk Down (2001)

Future BMT: 68.4 Delta Farce (2007), 34.4 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009), 33.5 Red Tails (2012), 30.4 The Monuments Men (2014), 27.8 Pearl Harbor (2001), 25.2 The Fifth Estate (2013), 23.2 The General’s Daughter (1999), 22.1 Renaissance Man (1994);

BMT: 2012 (2009), The Predator (2018), Hunter Killer (2018), The Mummy (2017), The Pacifier (2005), In the Army Now (1994)

(Vaguely ebbs and flows with things like the Cold War (peaking around 1990), and then post-9/11 … or maybe that is just the career of Michael Bay? Hard to tell. The kind of regular gaps in the 80s and 90s is interesting … makes me wonder if it has something to do with recruitment cycles for the U.S. military.)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number 23) – The shortest path through The Movie Database cast lists using only BMT films is: Art LaFleur is No. 7 billed in In the Army Now and No. 6 billed in Cobra, which also stars Sylvester Stallone (No. 1 billed) who is in Expendables 3 (No. 1 billed), which also stars Jason Statham (No. 2 billed) who is in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Seige Tale (No. 1 billed), which also stars Leelee Sobieski (No. 4 billed) who is in Here on Earth (No. 1 billed) => 7 + 6 + 1 + 1 + 2 + 1 + 4 + 1 = 23. If we were to watch Encino Man, and Extraordinary Measures we can get the HoE Number down to 13.

Notes – According to an interview, the scar on the back of Pauly Shore’s neck, visible when he first encounters the female drill sergeant, occurred during filming, when a shell casing ejected and landed on his neck, burning him. This scar is first visible when the barber turns him around after his haircut.

This is the third Pauly Shore movie to feature Brendan Fraser as Link in progressive life roles. The others are Encino Man (1992) (High School) and Son in Law (1993) (College).

Most of the basic training and war scenes were shot at Fort Sill in Lawton, Oklahoma. A sign saying “Fort Sill” is clearly visible in one scene.

The video game Bones plays in the opening sequence is Return Fire (1994) for the 3DO.

In a 2017 interview with Joe Rogan, Pauly Shore admitted that this film was the beginning of the end of his movie career. While he enjoyed making it, and doesn’t regret doing it, he was offered the script when he was under a 3-film contract with Disney. He’d already made Encino Man (1992) and Son in Law (1993), which had been modest box office hits. Executives at New Line Cinema offered him a role in a film called “Totally London,” in which Shore would’ve continued a variation on his popular Weasel character. Disney CEO Jeffery Katzenberg refused to let Shore out of his contract. Disney bought the script from New Line Cinema, and decided to shelve it. Katzenberg then gave Shore the option to do this movie. Shore’s agents advised him against it because they thought the script was mediocre. They also felt audiences wouldn’t accept Shore without his usual Weasel style, since he would have to cut off all his hair in the beginning for the basic training sequences. Shore said he made the film because it was his only available choice at the time, and he desperately wanted to be on a movie set. When this movie earned less at the box office than his previous films, Disney wouldn’t let him make anymore movies for them. His next two films, Jury Duty (1995) and Bio-Dome (1996), were box-office failures, though the latter eventually gained a big cult following. (You can glean as much from his career trajectory. He started in supporting roles in major films, then made those five films as a leading man, and then immediately just churned out a bunch of supporting roles in non-theatrical films … it is bizarre, but he never really got many leading man roles for video releases. Just seems odd considering he was genuinely quite famous among teen audiences in the mid 90s)

Bones enlists as a Water Purification Specialist in the Army Reserve thinking he’ll be in safe position far from danger. In reality, a reserve water purification unit assigned to the 14th Quartermaster Detachment suffered the highest casualty rate of any American unit in the Gulf War. A Scud missile struck their barracks in Saudi Arabia, killing or wounded 81% of the soldiers of the unit. (Oooooooof, … could this have been a recruitment tactic to try and make that unit more appealing afterwards. I mean … assuming they are talking about the first Gulf War)

The script was originally much raunchier and was supposed to be Pauly Shore’s first R rated film similar to Stripes (1981). Disney rejected the original script due to Pauly Shore’s popularity at the time with teenage audiences and said the film could not exceed a PG-13 rating so the younger crowd could see it. The script then went through several changed and was toned down to its eventual PG rating.

Damon Wayans was considered for the role of Fred. He turned it down to work on Blankman (1994). (Wowza!)

Whoopi Goldberg was considered for the role of Drill Sergeant Ladd. She turned it down because she was filming Corrina, Corrina (1994). (Semi-wowza!)

Ed Quiz

Whoooooooo dogggy, the last thing I remember I was picking up this amazing ball player at the bus station. But then some animal knocked me on the noggin and I don’t remember anything else! Do you remember what happened in Ed?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) How do the coaches of the Santa Rosa Rockets decide on whether to cut a player after 30 days? What happens with LeBlanc? 

2) Why is Ed brought onto the team and where does he come from?

3) Why does LeBlanc seem to have terrible luck to start his single-A baseball career, why does he keep on getting smashed?

4) When Ed is subbed in for the first time he does something very special, so special the coach says it is the first time he’s ever seen such a thing. What is it? 

5) Eventually LeBlanc finds his luck, throws his fastball, and starts cooking with fire. How fast can LeBlanc allegedly throw a baseball?

Answers

Crocodile Dundee In Los Angeles Recap

Jamie

Crocodile Dundee is back, Jack! And boy is he family friendly. When Sue gets a job offer in LA, Mick sees an opportunity to educate their young son in the ways of the world. But he’s soon thrust into the middle of the action when Sue starts investigating a dangerous story. Can Mick stop the bad guys before it’s too late? Find out in… Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles.

How?! We return to the adventures of Crocodile Dundee and are greeted with a picture of domestic bliss. Sue and Mick now have a child and enjoy their lives in Australia. There’s really only one problem: Mick doesn’t want to get married. But they’ve come to terms with that in a lot of ways too. When Sue gets a call about temporarily taking over the LA office of her father’s newspaper she is hesitant, but Mick suggests they go for it so that their son, Mikey, can experience the big city, just like he did so many years ago. They make the trip and boy is he already a fish out of water. He’s picking up skunks because he doesn’t know what they are, he’s interacting with Mike Tyson doing some meditation, etc. etc. It sure is a series of wacky hijinks. When Sue gets on the trail of some criminal activity being committed by a small film studio, Mick offers up his services to infiltrate the set. There he immediately ingratiates himself to the crew with his skillz with the animalz. With the steady job he’s able to find out that something funny is happening with a series of paintings being used on the set of their latest picture. It sure seems like they are smuggling priceless paintings into the country using the film as a ruse. But that can’t be, those paintings have been destroyed (or have they?!). In his attempt to get the final evidence against the studio, Mick, Sue, and his friend Jacko (oh yeah, he was also there), are chased by the studio head and his thugs. But never count out Mick, who uses some of the on-set animals to scare the baddies into submission. Because of the danger, Mick realizes how much he loves Sue and their life and so he proposes and they get married. THE END.

Why?! There is certainly a reason for the more family oriented turn in the series. Mick and Sue are happily together and have a life and a kid. The film is less about Mick and Sue’s adjustments to the other’s world and more about teaching their son about the world that his mother comes from… or at least that’s the motivation until Investigative Reporter Sue is hot on the case of some criminal activity. The baddies just want money and that money comes in the form of smuggled paintings thought to have been destroyed in a bombing in war-torn Yugoslavia (naturally).

Who?! I mean, there is a whole scene of Paul Hogan meditating with Mike Tyson and it’s one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen. I don’t understand it and I don’t wish to understand it. George Hamilton also makes a cameo and then there are a couple newscasters that play themselves, which is amusing and something to think about for future cycles.

What?! This is a no-brainer as there is an entire scene devoted to Crocodile Dundee showing off America’s great cuisine to his friend Jacko by driving him through a Wendy’s drive-thru. This joke is mentioned in a lot of places as one of the few that actually hit, which is impressive for product placement. And because the placement is so gratuitous there were actually articles written about it in major newspapers like the New York Times. It’s incredible.

Where?! A+ setting alert! We have Croc D. We have LA. We have Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles. There is also a significant part at the beginning and end that are set in Australia, so we’re looking at an LA sandwich with Australia bread. Delicious. A+.

When?! I’ve been on a roll in not finding when these films are set. There is a possibility that we could maybe find something in the news reports that are shown. But I don’t think so. Otherwise all we know is that it takes place during the school year. Not great. I guess it’s a D-… we know the bare minimum.

I mean… the film is kinda sad if you think of it as an actual entry in the series. But it’s really more like something like Ace Ventura Jr., where they take a property and make it family-friendly and send it straight-to-video (except this is a major release and all the main actors return for their roles). It is not even that the film is necessarily horrible or anything, it is actually a reasonable family comedy, but it probably belonged on video. It really does feel like Paul Hogan willed this film into existence because he needed an influx of that sweet, sweet Croc D moolah. At this point the most interesting thing about the film is that fantasy sports expert Matthew Berry wrote it and has talked about that experience on some podcasts and a few times on his website and ESPN. It is an interesting story and informs some of what you see with the series as a whole, particularly regarding Paul Hogan’s process and the reason why a film like this even exists in the first place. Patrick?

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! If I made this movie I would call it Crocodile Dundee: A Crocodile Out of Water. Just so you know that this time Dundee is going to be out of his element. Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – This guy has always been on our radar. What it looks like is the ultimate logical conclusion to the fish out of water story. A notable fish out of water at his fishiest and at his most out of water. It just screams: We’re going to make Crocodile Dundee feel uncomfortable about things, and its the early 2000s, so some of those things are probably gay panic. It is a pretty exciting time. What were my expectations? Just that. I admit, watching the trailer the movie came across different than I expected. Specifically, I kind of didn’t remember he had a kid in this one, nor that his Australian friend came with him. Regardless if Dundee seems out of water I’ll be pretty happy.

The Good – Paul Hogan is very charming. It isn’t surprising he became a star for a hot second in the 80s (it also isn’t that surprising he faded quickly, Dundee kind of seems like he’s playing himself to an extent, or like a character he developed and played for a long time, like Jim Varney and Ernest). It really is a super sweet family film. The film is mostly about Dundee being a great father and supporting his family while trying to find a place in the world. He does in the end (with a wink and a nod) as, effectively, an LA private detective.

The Bad – The fact that they immediately go back to the “weird not-crocodile-hunting and not-romantic-comedy story” well is pretty nuts. It is the main reason the second film doesn’t work, and they go straight back to that well making Crocodile Dundee a private detective almost immediately. Oh he’s also magic and can talk to animals. Everyone thinks his giant knife is cool instead of terrifying (which is what it actually is). And indeed, they make several jokes about either Crocodile Dundee being gay or our Australian bumpkins being shocked by being exposed to gay people. The whole thing just plays out as a kind of … well I’ll just reuse the phrase logical conclusion. It is the logical and inevitable conclusion to the Crocodile Dundee Saga.

The BMT – It might actually be the best / most obvious bad fish-out-of-water film ever made. It is also a great third-film-way-after-the-sequel film. It is a great Los Angeles film. It has a lot going for it. I wish the film was cheesier and less of a heartfelt family comedy … but what can you do. Did it meet my expectations? It kind of fell short. I expected it to be a lot crazier, but it ended up being less crazy than the second one. I still can’t quite get over how they thought the logical sequel storyline for Crocodile Dundee was international drug conspiracy … Somehow the third film’s storyline concerning an international art smuggling operation ends up feeling sane in comparison.

Roast-radamus – Is he actually a Planchet (Who?) or something else? I think Jacko, the Australian bumpkin who seems to have been introduced to the movie being Crocodile Dundee was somehow too cosmopolitan, qualifies nicely, despite them kind of being very kind to him. This time there is a slam dunk Product Placement (What?) with Dundee and Jacko going through a Wendy’s drive through and showing down on some delicious burgers. Also an A+ Setting as a Character (Where?) for Los Angeles which is very very Los Angeles in the film. Beyond that I don’t think it’ll be looked at for anything else.

StreetCreditReport.com – There aren’t many lists from 2001 for some reason … I would have thought by then a bunch of places would have started making them. Regardless it didn’t get onto anything I’ve found. It doesn’t really seem to be referenced anywhere. Any of the categories I listed above I think would do well to include the film on a short list. Worst fish-out-of-water, worst delayed trilogy-completing film, worst A+ setting film. The film is absurd, but they pull out a pretty decent trick. Despite looking like it is going to be just the worst thing you’ve ever seen, instead it manages to wrap itself in a pretty cute story about a family forging their own way. It doesn’t make it good, but it isn’t the worst thing in the world.

You Just Got Schooled – Obviously we have to do a review for the original film, so here goes! I watched Crocodile Dundee a few years ago and I remember being pleasantly surprised. The fact that Dundee is kind of suggested to be a fraudster and poacher was a refreshing way to introduce the character. Instead of being some glorious “native” character that teaches the hero about life and love, he’s a charmingly backwards guy with an unknown (and possibly sinister) past. It develops into a genuinely good romantic comedy, and it is no wonder it ended up being the film that triggered the somewhat brief star turn for Hogan in Hollywood. B+. If only they kept that original spirit up for the sequel instead of falling back into more common Hollywood tropes. Jamie’s right. They should have had the sequel focus on Dundee trying (and failing) to find a job in New York City. After a blow up with Sue he goes back to his land in Australia. After some drama, Sue realizes the moral of the story: It is unkind to ask Dundee to change so much to fit into New York City life, and maybe there is a middle ground for their life together. Smash cut to sue making big city deals in her office, but that (what a twist) zoom out to reveal the office is in the middle of the outback. Boom. Don’t make a third.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Crocodile Dundee II Recap

Jamie

Crocodile Dundee is back, Jack! And boy is he still having trouble adjusting to life in the Big Apple. When Sue gets caught up in a dangerous story about Colombian drug traffickers, it’s up to Mick to save her and save the day. Can he stop the bad guys with his powers of the Australian outback? Find out in… Crocodile Dundee II.

How?! Crocodile Dundee is living it up in NYC. But it’s not all that fun just hanging out. It’s time to get a job and boy howdy is that a hoot. That is until Sue’s ex-husband/journalist gets her embroiled in a dangerous expose about a murderous Colombian drug lord. Oh no! When Sue is kidnapped, it’s up to ol’ Croc D (as the kids call him) to jump into the fray with the help of some bee-boppin’ teen troublemakers. He’s able to snag Sue back and escape to the Australian bush. On his territory the drug lord is at a disadvantage and Crocodile Dundee makes them look silly at every turn. He’s able to slowly pick apart their crew until they take them all out and Sue and everyone is safe. Long live, Crocodile Dundee! Wait… is this seriously all this movie is about? Let me look back on my notes… yup. This is literally the entire plot of the film. THE END.

Why?! Hmmm, well this is more like a situation than a real motivation. Crocodile Dundee and Sue would have probably just kept on living their lives if it wasn’t for the pesky Colombian drug lord. It’s almost like they wrote a film where the entire motivation was Crocodile Dundee wanting to get a job, but then realized that that’s more like an SNL sketch and not a real movie. So then they added in the life or death stakes of international drug smuggling (naturally).

Who?! It’s always funny to find all the different types of people to feature for this category. We highlighted Nobel Prize winning characters for god’s sake. But I rarely highlight the kid actors in a film. Usually it’s not particularly notable. Here, though, there are a few kids that Crocodile Dundee shows off to and one of them is Tatyana Ali. It was her first role ever and she didn’t appear in another feature film until… Kiss the Girls! Woooooaaahhhhhh.

What?! There isn’t much to say for this. When Crocodile Dundee shows off his patented Croc D Never-Miss Throw, he uses the classic red and white can of a delicious coke. Not only do the colors pop on the screen, but it’s refreshing too. But not a super great entry for this one… that has to wait for the third film. Hoooo weeeee.

Where?! All the Crocodile Dundee films are pretty good for setting. The first was a fish out of water tale of an Australian man from the bush being dropped in NYC. Now he’s gotten his feet in NYC, but must save Sue by bringing the Colombian drug lord to the bush. So now the drug lord is the fish out of water… and Crocodile Dundee is the dynamite. A

When?! Oh, I don’t know. It feels like the summer. He’s out fishing in the Hudson and the like. But I don’t think it was made very clear. It’s like Croc D (as the kids call him) exists outside of time. He’s just ambling through his day dealing with whatever animals cross his path.

There are definitely some positives for the film. Like Sue and Croc D (as the kids call him) still have that sexy charm that we know and love. He’s also still funny being the laid-back tough Australian. But the plot really lacked and they didn’t really know what to do for the sequel other than just retread a tired 80’s plot. It’s almost more like a TV pilot than an actual movie. It also doesn’t help that there are some truly bonkers potentially offensive jokes sprinkled throughout. But then again, I think it was the same case with the first film (and spoiler alert, the third film). I still don’t think the film is that bad considering the characters are still the same. But also nothing to write home about… or even write much about in a recap. This has got to be some record for brevity in a BMT post. Patrick? 

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! If I made this movie I would call it Crocodile Dundee: Back to the Bush. Just so you’re like “whoa, I’m so happy they are going back to Australia!” You know? Let’s go!

P’s View on the Preview – This has been a long time coming. I watched Crocodile Dundee ages ago and, no surprise, I loved it. A surprisingly good film. You’d think it would be kind of cheesy and dumb, but nope. Rather heartfelt stuff. Obviously the third one is the premier BMT prospect, but maybe this one could be bad as well? We’d just have to watch and see. What were my expectations? More of the same I suppose. It is the most plausible explanation, once the shine of the originality of the first film wears off what you are left with is just a boring retread.

The Good – The last maybe 30 minutes of this film is actually quite charming and fun. It is nice seeing Crocodile Dundee in his element owning big city losers in the outback. A little odd to say considering the entire film franchise is based around the concept of a fish out of water. The character is just more fun when he’s in water, what can I say? While the acting can get a bit dicey, I thought the bad guy was pretty good. He exudes a very menacing calmness that combines with his obvious arrogance well. And I think Hogan and Kozlowski have as good of chemistry as ever.

The Bad – The story is just like … a different story with Crocodile Dundee inserted into it? The original was literally just a romantic comedy between the two leads taking place in Australia and New York City (in a reverse of this film). But here, seemingly unable to think about what to do with Dundee, they just decide to involve him in an international drug smuggling conspiracy. Why? Hogan complained in interviews about how he didn’t want Dundee to just become James Bond, but then why did you write the first sequel as basically a knockoff James Bond?! It is truly bizarre and almost sinks the entire film. The middle bit is very weird as well involving a very nice man named Leroy Brown, and a comic Warriors-esque gang of youths. Oh and the inevitable homophobic joke that also pokes fun at suicide.

The BMT – This film is a lot better of a BMT that I would have expected. The entire storyline is insane. Like … why is Crocodile Dundee battling a drug kingpin again? Weird choice. It’ll be overshadowed by the third film for sure, but maybe it shouldn’t be. Did it meet my expectations? It exceeded them. I expected a boring retread, and instead I got an insane international drug kingpin story! There are just enough weird bits (the gang in particular in the middle of the film out of nowhere) to sustain the film until you get to Australia. Once you get to Australia the film actually is kind of good.

Roast-radamus –  I think there is a pretty strong Setting as  a Character (Where?) for New York City and Australia. The double team is actually pretty great, and they make rural Australia seem a lot more welcoming and beautiful than a lot of Americans probably think. I do think there is a minor Product Placement (What?). No, not for Australia. Well, not directly. All three films seem to be subtle commercials for Fosters (it’s Australian for beer don’t you know?). There is a pretty awesome MacGuffin (Why?) involving pictures of the drug kingpin literally murdering a man in the open. The entire plot of the film hinges on Dundee getting involved in that nonsense. It’ll be closest to Good but I don’t think it’ll get there. As I said, it is actually a pretty good BMT because it is so weird at times.

StreetCreditReport.com – Sorry Crocodile Dundee II, you got no cred! At least, I don’t think this film was particularly poorly regarded at the time, just kind of meh. All of the cred comes from the third film at this point. Without the third film I bet we would have watched the two Crocodile Dundee films, thought the second wasn’t that bad, and wondered why a third wasn’t made. It is the second worst Crocodile Dundee film, so it has that going for it.

You Just Got Schooled – I’m going to skip this bit because no joke no one in this film seems to be in a non-qualifying film to watch. Check out the Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles recap to read my review of the original film.

Cheerios,

The Sklogs

Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles Quiz

G’day mate! Give me a Fosters, mate. It’s Australian for beer. And I’ve been drinking so much Fosters, that I’ve managed to forget what happened in this movie. Do you remember what happened in Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles?

Pop Quiz Hot Shot!

1) Why does the Dundee family move to Los Angeles?

2) What is so suspicious about the production company that Sue ultimately sets out to complete a story about?

3) What does Mike Tyson teach Mick and Michael Dundee in the park?

4) Why is Crocodile Dundee such a good detective (according to Crocodile Dundee)?

5) What is ultimately the racket that the production company is running behind the scenes? How are they making their illegal cash monies?

Answers