The Crocodile Hunter – Collision Course cast: Steve Irwin, Terri Irwin, Bindi Sue Irwin, Steve Bastoni, and Kate Behan director: John Stainton 87 minutes (tbc) 2001 widescreen ratio: 16:9 MGM / 20th Century Fox DVD Region 1 retail RATING: 8/10 reviewed by Michael Lohr

First off, I wish to explain why I gave this movie such a high rating. No, this is not an adult classic by any means, this is strictly a children’s movie, though anyone who enjoys watching The Crocodile Hunter on cable or TV (which I do) should also enjoy it as well. It was a good movie to take your children to when it was in theatres and it is a good movie to rent or buy for your children for home viewing.
Although the Los Angeles Times and USA Today praised The Crocodile Hunter – Collision Course for being a movie for children and made the same points that I make about its child-friendly quality, several critics lampooned this movie as if they were at Cannes, with caviar shoved up their collective noses. Come on, people – lighten up. This film wasn’t made to rival the very popular James Bond spy/espionage movie series. Nor were the filmmakers attempting to create some artsy fartsy cinematic masterpiece.
Filmed in 2001 in and around the city of Brisbane, Australia, the movie is produced by Cheyenne Productions (the Bruce Willis-owned production firm). The film stars croc hunters and Australia Zoo owners Steve and Terri Irwin in a madcap adventure set, where else but in the Australian Outback. The movie starts out in outer space when a spy satellite explodes and an indestructible ‘data sphere’ plummets back to Earth crashing in the Australian Outback and ending up in the stomach of a 12-foot crocodile, hence the reason why the Irwins get involved in the first place. The CIA descends upon Australia like a locust plague just as the Irwins capture the croc that ate the data sphere and attempt to relocate him. The CIA assumes they stole the data sphere to sell on the black market and the mayhem begins. This is a movie that Mel Brooks would have been proud to make.
My favourite subplot involves a shotgun toting, farmwoman named Brozzie Drewitt (played by Magda Szubanski of Babe) and her quest to kill a cow-eating crocodile; indecently it’s the same croc that’s eaten the CIA’s data sphere. The scene where she is stuck in her bathroom window as a case of flatulence comes on, is crude, if not priceless comedy. With Steve “mucking about in piles of animal poo” and being his general uber-enthusiastic self, I guarantee that your children will love this movie. And if you’re in the mood for some mindless (this isn’t The Piano, Vanilla Sky or Minority Report), light-hearted fare, then you will too. The Irwins’ conservation message is an important one and needs to be heard. They are ever vigilant about animal conservation and it is a message that one should never become weary of hearing.
Note: If you ever plan to visit Australia, you must take a side trip to Beerwah, Queensland, the home of Steve and Terri Irwin’s Australia Zoo. It is a fantastic place and, once again, the kids will love it.
DVD extras: anamorphic transfer, with French and Spanish language options. Featurette Lights! Cameras! Animals! The Making Of Collision Course, deleted scenes (introduced by director Stainton), music video Crocodile Rock by Baha Men, and a few interactive games.