Movie Review

THE CROCODILE HUNTER: COLLISION COURSE

MPAA Rating: PG for action violence/peril and mild language.

Reviewed by: Lacey Mical (Callahan) Walker
CONTRIBUTOR

Average
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Family
Genre:
Action Adventure
Length:
1 hr. 45 min.

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

Viewer Comments
Positive—This film can be seen by all who would watch Steve’s cable show. There is NOT a cleavage issue and it is an ecology related show in addition to having a story to go along with it. A simple story yes, but fun to watch and enjoy.
My Ratings: [Good / 5]
—Melody Goss, age 44
Positive—I saw this movie last weekend, and thought overall it wasn’t a bad film. I do have to say I marvel over Steve’s zeal for the creatures he encounters. He has so much understanding and love for animals. I do not know his spiritual background, but I believe that he would make a fine Christian. He seems to be a man who gives his whole heart into what he believes. If he only turned his attention off of worshiping the creation and look unto the creator I believe it would really give him something to praise about. After I watch his TV shows on cable, I pray for Steve and his family’s salvation. I pray that the Lord can show him there is more to love than animals (nothing wrong with being a good steward to God’s creatures, but not to turn them into idols.) I will continue to pray for the man.
My Ratings: [Average / 3]
—Bethany, age 31
Positive—What a great movie. I recommend this to all, young and old alike. This teaches values that have been lost by a pampered society. You’re taught to respect and love all God’s creatures not matter if they’re not pleasing to YOUR eye—but that God made all different animals for a reason. Steve and Terri Irwin are such a loving supportive team that share their love of family and love of God’s creatures to all in a positive enthusiastic way. Boom! It makes you laugh, cry, and jump in your seat… can’t say anything negative about this movie. I didn’t hear any bad language, so was shocked to see what some others had said—shocked!
My Ratings: [Excellent! / 5]
—Carole, age 39
Negative—The best thing about this movie is the respect and care that Steve and Teri Irwin have for animals and the environment. Other than a few curse words, this is a family film. However, the plot is silly, and the acting is poor. Fans of the Irwins would probably do better to stay at home and watch their cable show.
My Ratings: [Good / 1½]
—Hillari Hunter, age 40
Positive—My wife and I saw this movie with out 12 year old daughter and 6 year old “Steve Irwin” wannabe son. We all liked the movie, especially the 6 year old. The story has the feel of Steve’s TV show format. The script took major advantage of Steve Irwin’s over the top personality… Steve’s real life wife is his wife and partner in this movie, and there are a few times in the movie when her physical assets are exploited, cleavage and such, but nothing questionable. If you are looking for a movie that you do not have to worry about, this one will do.
My Ratings: [Good / 4]
—Steve Robbins, age 44
Neutral—Being a Pom (Aussie slang for Brit), I thought I would take my wife and two children, aged 10 and 8 to see the movie, a little wary that it might be lame and low budget. It began well with some high tech stuff and turned out to be quite interesting and at times educational, although you are left with the impression that Steve Irwin is a completely irresponsible risk-taker and that he has a definite death wish. “Tempt not the Lord thy God…” On the other hand, Terri Irwin is smart, warm, modest and lovely and you wonder why she doesn’t slap Steve across his dusty cheeks and say, “Wake up, mate… I need you around into old age.” Steve risks his life daily, it seems, as he drags innocent Terri into situations catching highly venomous, angry snakes, diving for ferocious crocodiles and trying to drown himself with boat stunts and voluntary death rolls. An amusing addition to the movie is a rotund female rancher played by the farmer’s wife from Babe, who tries to kill a rogue croc while ousting various authority figures including the CIA who are after a data storage unit swallowed by Jaws. Some mild expletives and a word new to most Americans which is so loosely used in Australia and Britain, its meaning has become lost in antiquity. It is actually a reference to masturbation, but 99% of the viewing audience will miss it, hopefully. The only other unnecessary clip was Steve telling Terri to take her shirt off to keep an orphaned baby kangaroo warm. One is immediately reminded, “She’s beautiful and very fit… this should be tantalizing” and although she’s wearing a tank top, as soon as the shirt is off, they swiftly pop little Joey into a sleeping bag. Why, one asks, was it not Steve’s shirt that had to come off? Was this another unsubtle attempt to justify the PG rating? Overall, as a family, we felt it was a waste of good money that could have been better spent on Steve’s videos, which do stick to the facts and don’t have a weak storyline and an abrupt ending. Save your money and buy a Crocodile Hunter video, but if you do feel you have to see it, remember all the profits go to conservation, so it’s not all a loss.
My Ratings: [Average / 2]
—Christopher Winter, age 47
Negative—As I and my family watched this movie, I thought of a “proverb” I saw posted outside the cubicle of a former coworker. It said “Happy is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.” This saying rang true for “The Crocodile Hunter:Collision Course.” If you bother to leave the comfort of your own home and spend $5-$10 of your hard-earned money to see this movie, make sure you know not to expect much. It sort of seemed like a satellite dish was going bad, and was jumping around between two or three different TV shows. The connection between the CIA part, the Croc Hunter part, and the angry landowner part was lost until way into the movie. My 7-year-old asked me a few minutes into the movie if we’d walked in on Men In Black II by mistake. This attempt at a movie was about an hour and a half of the Animal Planet with talking cardboard cutouts (awful actors) trying to play the other roles. The main things that I found offensive (perhaps I’m more sensitive than others who see this but a hundred times throughout the movie. If that word is a replacement for “Christ,” then he uses my Lord’s name in vain regularly. The Irwin’s role in the movie was odd. I kept expecting to see or hear them interacting with cameramen or directors or something, as if they were filming for the show while the CIA stuff was going on elsewhere. But it appeared that they just drove around Australia in a jeep and played with dangerous wild animals while talking to the air… Odd. There were also some assumptions left unresolved between the CIA and the Irwins. I won’t go into it because I don’t want to give away too much of the already weak plot. I will say that the most entertaining point in the movie is near the end when the Irwins and the CIA guys finally get on the screen at the same time. If you adore The Crocodlie Hunter TV show and have money to burn, go see it. Otherwise relax at home and watch it on Animal Planet. Better yet, take a walk around the neighborhood with your family…My Ratings: [Average / 2]
—Anita, age 40
Positive—I took five children ages 7-4 to see this movie today. We generally are EXTREMELY sensitive about what our children watch and have a TV free home, and this film passed even our strict guidelines. It did have one or two profanities (quite unnecessary really) and a bit of gunplay which we could have done without; but otherwise a good, educational family film. Wasn’t expecting all the interspersed good animal information. Did expect a few more belly laughs, but the kids seemed content with the chuckles they got. All around would recommend this film for family viewing! A positive experience for us! Offers a good conversation starter with the kids about being caretakers of God’s creatures. (Unfortunately, our theatre played a James Bond preview that was quite horrid with lots of explosions and gunfire; but luckily the kids were more involved in their popcorn and talking about the previous preview for Country Bears!)
My Ratings: [Good / 3]
—Allie, age 29
Positive—Crikey, this movie rocks, mate! Ok, so my Australian accent needs work, but this movie was awesome. It’s a little too intense for the younger set but nothing objectionable for the older ones except for some cuss words here and there and some really gross stuff. I love watching Steve’s TV show on the Animal Planet channel and as a fan, I went to see the movie on the big screen and as always, Steve never fails to amaze me. It’s good, wholesome, clean fun!
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 3]
—Shannon, age 20
Comments from young people
Positive—This movie is a good movie for people who have nothing better to do. This was a very fun movie to see and can be very entertaining. I would take the whole family to go see this movie, I didn’t see anything wrong with this movie. I wouldn’t see the movie twice but it is a very fun movie.
My Ratings: [Good / 4]
—Latty, age 15
Positive—This is the best movie I have seen in a long time (I do admit I am a fan of him). I only counted one cuss word two times that being the D. word. being a deer hunter I personally did not like the perspective on that. (though the bad guys not necessarily US. agents but poachers.) One part shows too much skin on Terri’s part but it is acceptable. My overall rating is four and a half because of cuss words and skin.
My Ratings: [Better than Average / 4½]
—Sam Chesebrough, age 11
Movie Critics
…With only a few, mildly crude expressions, THE CROCODILE HUNTER delivers 105 minutes of wholesome, and educational, entertainment…
—Preview Family Movie and TV Review
…2 mild scatological terms… 12 mild obscenities…
—Kids-in-Mind
…plays like his TV adventure documentary invaded by a spy movie…
—Sean Axmaker, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
…each time Irwin comes on-screen, the sides of the picture are chopped off to make it appear like a TV show. This technique reminds us that Irwin definitely belongs on the small screen…
—Bill Muller, Arizona Central