Eye For Film >> Movies >> The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course (2002) Film Review
The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course
Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray
Steve Irwin is Stevo, the big boy in khaki shorts who wrestles crocs on TV and behaves like an overexcited teenager at Valley Parade, except what turns him on are the most feared creatures on earth. He may be in love with danger, but he's infatuated with animals. Sir David Attenborough might find his style unconventional, to say the least. He's a loud-mouthed Aussie, who calls his wife "Mate" and has never been known to keep his voice down in the presence of man-eating reptiles.
What he does with killer spiders, snakes and crocodiles is impressive, if foolhardy. Audiences have become so used to computer-generated monsters that the real thing is hard to believe. Surely that tarantula with venom powerful enough to wipe out 100 blokes has been doctored before Steve sticks his face inches away from it? And the bad tempered croc that he dives onto in the river has been drugged with a tranquiliser, yes? No.
Where John Stainton's film goes wrong is attempting to marry Stevo's improvised interaction with genuinely wild creatures to a facile comedy thriller plot. On the one hand, you have Steve and Terri Irwin and their dog, Sui, in a small boat with a captured croc on board and, on the other, a couple of inept CIA agents (Lachy Hulme, Kenneth Ransom) firing guns all over the place and a reactionary cattle rancher (Magda Szubanksi), who is completely off her rocker.
The story of a top secret satellite information cone that falls to earth in the Australian bush, close to where the Irwins are recording a wild life documentary is Bond-like in its absurdity, without 007's super stunts to compensate.
Stevo goes on being infuriatingly upbeat, while his American wife looks concerned. Szubanksi (Mrs Hoggett from Babe) appears to be playing the dame in an Outback panto, overacting to a point beyond embarrassment. The CIA duo cannot compete. They look physically and emotionally exhausted after trying to keep up with bad jokes and painful slapstick.Reviewed on: 25 Jul 2002