By all rights this should be dictionary definition duff. It's the third film in a flagging franchise, cranked out 13 years after part two and featuring a 'star' whose last film was Flipper it should be a dull and cynical attempt to suck one last payday out of Hollywood's money teat before settling down to retirement.
But enough of the "shoulds". Because actually CD In LA is surprisingly entertaining. It's not a great film by any stretch of even the most elastic imagination (at points it struggles to even be a good one), but it's far from bad. You see, for all the moments where this creaks like badly-oiled Disney (the stuff with the cute kid is just painful) or rehashes sequences from Crocs one and two (Mick winning over a roomful of partygoers, Mick doing the putting animals to sleep thing, Mick using THE knife...), there are still just enough flashes of genuine wit to make it likeable.
Looking like a piece of lightly fried boot leather these days, Paul Hogan still has bags of his trademark idiot savant charm. So what if he can't channel it into any other character (who remembers him in Lightning Jack or Almost An Angel?), his Mick Dundee is always fun to spend time with. As the plot cranks into action (some guff about a movie studio running a smuggling operation on the side), it's Mick's easy appeal that carries things along when the sight-gags and slapstick begin to flag.
Director Simon Wincer let's things snooze in the middle of the film, but he starts (Mick and mate Jacko out on a bungled croc hunt) and finishes it (a big chase round a deserted movie studio) with a punch. Add a sprinkling of gentle gags and some quite bizarre cameos (Mike Tyson's appearance as himself is nothing short of surreal) and you've got an undemanding enough piece of division-two popcorn. Part four would still be a bad idea though...
Nowhere near as bad as you might think, CD In LA coasts on Hogan's charm and wraps the series up well enough. It might not offer anything new, but just about manages to turn the same old stuff into an easy-going piece of family entertainment.
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