Movie Reviews

The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Rating: 6 out of 10
Movie Details: View here

The Animal (Double Sided)
Cast:
Steve Irwin as Himself
Terri Irwin as Herself
Magda Szubanski as Brozzie Drewett
David Wenham as Sam Flynn
Lachy Hulme as Agent Bob Wheeler
Steve Bastoni as Deputy Director Reynolds
Kate Beahan as Jo Buckley
Kenneth Ransom as Agent Vaughan Archer
Steven Vidler as Harley Ansell
Aden Young as Ron Buckwhiler

Summary:
"The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course" isn't much more than a regular TV episode thrown onto the screen with a loose plot stringing scenes together.

What's It About:
Steve and Teri Irwin make the transition from TV screen to big screen in this film. As they roam the Australian outback rescuing animals, they encounter a crocodile that has been troubling a rancher. They attempt to capture and relocate the croc to another area, but what they don't know is that the animal has swallowed an important component of a downed U.S. spy satellite. The Irwins soon find themselves pursued by competing government agents who think that the animal rescuers are secret agents trying to keep the satellite component for themselves. Thus the chase through the outback ensues.

"The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course" is rated PG for action violence/peril and mild language.

What Worked:
I'm a big fan of The Crocodile Hunter, so I was really looking forward to this film. While it didn't quite live up to my expectations, it was still reasonably enjoyable. The highlights, like in the TV show, are when Irwin handles deadly creatures. In this film he handles a bird eating spider, a king brown snake, and a 12 ft crocodile among other critters. The appeal of watching Irwin on the big screen is a lot like that of watching Jackie Chan. You know the guys are doing their own stunts and that they are in real peril. No amount of CGI or other effects can make up for that. It helps that Irwin has a great sense of humor and is like a hyperactive 12 yr old while catching the animals.

Besides the nature shots, the other highlight is a chase along a road between the Irwins and the spies. All the various creatures Steve has in the car come into play to chase off the bad guys and it makes for some funny moments.

What Didn't Work:
This film isn't much more than a regular Crocodile Hunter TV episode strung together by uninteresting and poorly acted scenes involving the spies. I kept wanting to fast forward the film to where he was dealing with the animals. The "plot" is agonizing to get through. (I won't go into all the problems with it here.) Being on the big screen did nothing to enhance the experience. I couldn't help but think that it would have been much more exciting if it had been on an IMAX screen. Seeing a 50 ft bird-eating spider in front of you would have been a much more fun movie going experience.

The other problem with the film was that it kept going from widescreen format to TV screen dimensions. This is because the Irwins, unable to get insurance for a movie shoot, went out and filmed footage on their own. The studio came back later and had them film the "plot" scenes. In the final product, black bars kept appearing and disappearing on the screen. It was rather distracting.

This film had a lot of potential and could have done a lot more, but in the end it was a bit of a mixed bag. This film is worth checking out if you're a fan of the TV show or you need to entertain kids for an hour and a half. However, you may want to make this one a renter.

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