Hoges: The Paul Hogan Story (2017)

Just how a rigger from the Sydney Harbour Bridge went on to conquer Hollywood, before disappointing the nation by 'going Hollywood' is the basis of this real-life rags-to-riches story. Neatly bookended by his recent tour of 'An Evening with Hoges', the biopic spends just enough time on the comedian’s pre-bridge days to cram in a few too many sixties’ tunes, cheeky winks and newsclip montages. Soon after he is on TV taking the mickey out of talent quest judges. Watching on is the astute John Cornell, who on a handshake deal with Hoges would form the most successful Australian comedy act both off and on the screen.

 

Though it’s fun, and sometimes cringe-making, to relive the sexist humour of Hoges’ television show, what makes this biopic really work is the depiction of the Hogan household, particularly the earlier scenes when their western Sydney housing commission home was brimming with children, love and humour. This everyman quality at the heart of Hogan’s larrikiin image underscores the public affection he enjoyed as well as partly explain (but not excuse) the vitriol unleashed on him later when he fell in love with his Crocodile Dundee co-star. Anyhow…

 

This biopic is a respectful look at a much-loved Aussie icon whose success stemmed from his attitude to having a go. Similarly, despite not looking like the comedian and being hindered by a collection of bad wigs, Josh Lawson’s fearlessness in taking on the role pays off from the moment he admits, after making a handshake deal to appear on television for $30, he would have accepted “a fiver and a packet of chewy”.

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Josh Lawson
Josh Lawson

as Paul Hogan

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Laura Gordon
Laura Gordon

as Linda Kowalski

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Ryan Corr
Ryan Corr

as John Cornell

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Grant Piro
Grant Piro

as Dustin Hoffman

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As opposed to the Hogan’s amicable split depicted in this biopic, Noelene Hogan nee Edwards informed a woman’s magazine that Paul hadn’t spoken to her in the 17 years since their divorce.

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Biopic recreates a few scenes from Crocodile Dundee and one from Crocodile Dundee II. Though Almost an Angel is mentioned, we are spared any scene recreations from that movie.

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