The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course

Crikey! Synergy at its strangest comes to fruition in The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course, the new movie featuring the infamous Steve Irwin and his wife Terri. The Irwins have a wildly popular show on cable that plays on the near-maniacal enthusiasm of Steve, coupled with the level-headedness of Terri. The show consists of watching Steve handle all sorts of deadly creatures while they both talk about the importance of conservation. Collision Course is no different. In what is probably a wise decision, director John Stainton decided to let the Irwins be themselves, and wrapped a story around them. There are no pretensions of any sort of quality other than having fun, and in this way, the movie works. It even makes fun of itself at points. Characters are drawn broadly, the meshing of the "real" and "fake" portions of the movie are shoddy, but Steve Irwin is Steve Irwin, handling animals like he has some sort of death wish.

The "plot" of the movie, by Stainton and Holly Goldberg Sloan (Whispers: An Elephant's Tale, The Secret Life of Girls) involves a top secret satellite beacon that landed in Australia after the satellite exploded. CIA agents Wheeler (Lachy Hulme, Let's Get Skase, Four Jacks) and Archer (Kenneth Ransom, Black & White: A Love Story, There Goes My Baby) go there to locate this beacon with the help of Jo Buckley (Kate Beahan, Lost Souls, Chopper). Unbeknownst to them, a large crocodile terrorizing the farm of Brozzie Drewett (Magda Szubanski, Babe: Pig in the City, Babe) swallowed the probe. Brozzie wants to get rid of the croc, but Sam Flynn (David Wenham, Better Than Sex, Moulin Rouge) won't let her. Instead, he calls the Irwins out to relocate the croc. For most of the movie, the Irwins and the rest of the cast do not meet. The Irwins are first seemingly wandering around doing what they do before the go to capture and move the nasty croc. The other people are trying to track the crocodile.

Stainton even films them differently. He uses a wider lens for the cast, so it is actually like a film, while using a documentary style shot for the Irwins. This means that the scenes with Irwin are no different than his television show. So is there a point to watching this movie? Well, definitely not for the story. The level of sophistication and type of jokes found here point towards a very young demographic. Children should enjoy this movie the most, since it has plenty of amusing things for them as well as animals. And Stainton uses the Irwins to push their message of conservation as well as their vast knowledge of Australian wildlife. When the two stories converge at the end, it is not too successful. Steve Irwin may be amusing in his own strange way, but he is not a good actor, as some quick outtakes at the end show. Still, the other so-called actors pale in comparison to him. For the most part, Collision Course is a fairly low-tech movie that coasts by on the tremendous personality of its star. On a superficial level it is actually pretty enjoyable.

Haro Rates It: Okay.
1 hour, 29 minutes, Rated PG for action violence/peril and mild language.

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