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Reviews » Theatrical Reviews » Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course
Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course
MGM // PG // July 12, 2002
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted July 16, 2002 | E-mail the Author
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Watching Steve Irwin is an odd, fascinating and often funny experience. The Australian often does not seem to think much of jumping into a river to grab an angry croc - not for sport, mind you, but to relocate it in an area where humans aren't. "Collision Course" is Irwin's first movie, co-starring his wife, Terri. Essentially, the filmmakers have attempted to extend one of Irwin's Discovery channel episodes with a plot that the film obviously doesn't care about (and, quite honestly, neither did I).

The film does have some positive aspects. Irwin discusses the need to provide wildlife convervation areas and the fact that we must realize that the animals are not invading on our land, but that we are increasingly building further into theirs. The film's first hour zips back and forth between scenes in offices, where Government agents decide what to do about a lost satellite, and Irwin and wife Terri trying to help out animals who have gotten themselves into a spot of trouble.

The scenes with Irwin and the various creatures were highly entertaining and occasionally, genuinely terrifying. Irwin spots a "bird eating" spider on a nearby log and excitedly runs over to it, picking up the log and showing it to the camera. He explains that the spider can jump a great distance (well, for a spider) and that it has an enormous amount of highly toxic venom. I sat, waiting for the spider to jump on Irwin's face. It doesn't. He wants to take the creature along with him to study the venom at the Australian Zoo, which I believe he is part (or complete, I'm not sure) owner of. While wife Terri gets a box, Steve starts poking the extremely dangerous (and, at this point, obviously a little angered) spider with a twig. He keeps saying that he wants the spider to show its fangs. Although the audience likely believes him that the spider has fangs, he nearly gets his hand bit in the process. 2 other sequences - one at night, one in the day - show Irwin jumping into the water to wrestle a crocodile (who doesn't seem pleased) into a boat.

Again, the scenes where Irwin is trying to catch various animals are very entertaining (and I'm guessing that, when you're wrestling a croc, most of your dialogue is probably improv). However, it was a terrible mistake to actually try and attach some sort of additional plot to this movie. The three agents who visit Australia to try and get the satellite back don't actually get there until a little over an hour into the 60 minute movie and, when they finally run into Steve, he mistakes them for poachers. The three unknowns who play the agents act indifferently, as if they're aware they clearly aren't the focus. In my opinion, they only proved to be an annoyance, as I'd much rather the film go back to watching Irwin picking up random deadly creatures. Honestly, I would have rather seen the film's budget to go to providing what would essentially be a bigger episode where Steve goes to various countries and educates about the local wildlife.

Overall, I liked the film's message and Irwin is entertaining and obviously has respect for the creatures (even though the way he pokes at them sometimes seems to border on insane). If you've never seen Irwin on cable, you may want to check out this film, either at a bargain matinee or when it comes to video. Irwin fans can probably wait for a rental or continue to watch the episodes on Discovery channel.
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