Reviewed by: Lacey Mical (Callahan) Walker
Starring: Steve Irwin, Terri Irwin, Bindi Sue Irwin, David Wenham, Magda Szubanski | Directed by: John Stainton | Produced by: Judi Bailey, Bruce Willis, John Stainton, Arnold Rifkin | Written by: Holly Goldberg Sloan, John Stainton | Distributor: MGM
Steve and Terri Irwin have been entertaining fans for years wrestling crocs and dodging snake bites on cable television. What I expected to view in this big screen project from MGM was an extended, wide-screen version of the television show… educational talks, close encounters with creepy crawlies of all sizes, and of course plenty of “Danger, Danger, Danger!” Unfortunately, this script proved to be a bit less palatable.
The film opens with a view from space as we watch a satellite explode and its nucleus plummet to the earth, landing in the mouth of a wild Australian crocodile which promptly swallows the orb. We then learn that this bit of space debris contains top secret information which, if placed in the wrong hands, could destroy life on earth. This ridiculous doomsday scenario in place, our journey begins.
In step three bumbling U.S. government agents, sent to Australia in search of the missing databox, and one rifle-toting Ozzie rancher with a personal vendetta against crocodiles and the stage is set for one very silly movie. The film jumps around with 3 different plots, none of which fit together until the very end. There was rarely any laughter in the theatre, and the viewers only reacted to the scenes portraying the Irwins’ interaction with the animals.
As the audience joins Steve and Terri’s outback adventures, joy riding with a two-fanged spider, orphaned joey, and “the most poisonous snake in the world” in tow, one almost blissfully forgets the plot.
The acting is very poor, with the exception of Steve’s scenes carrying on with the animals, which come off exactly like the television show. The script is peppered with conspicuous profanity which did not belong in the film and seemed to be deliberately inserted in order to achieve a “PG” rating.
Families should discuss the secular worldviews presented in the film. Steve continually points out that animals are really better than people. Parents can correct this by pointing out that God breathed life into man and gave us dominion over the animal kingdom. The views that the Irwins present are ones which are constantly preached to our nation’s children and are in direct contradiction to Scriptures. Watching this movie can be a good springboard to fruitful discussions on many issues.
If you are a Croc Hunter fan, it may be worth sitting through the film in order to enjoy the action scenes with Steve and Terri. On the other hand, you could save some money and just stay home and watch it on Discovery.
Year of Release—2002