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A valuable satellite pod crashes to earth and is swallowed by a 12-foot crocodile in remote Queensland. A pair of CIA agents (Lachy Hume, Kenneth Ransom) are sent to retrieve it, but find the croc already in hot water with rifle-toting farmer Brozzie Drewitt (Magda Szubanski). Brozzie wants to put the annoying beast to pasture but wildlife ranger (David Wenham) prevents her from shooting it. Meanwhile, heroic croc-o-phile Steve Irwin (Steve Irwin) and his wife Terri (Terri Irwin) investigate all manner of outback creepy-crawlies in the area. When Steve mistakes the agents for poachers, he tries to relocate the croc himself.

Review by Shannon J. Harvey:
WHAT IS STEVE IRWIN ON? If Australia's self-styled nature-hugger has a death-wish, it's not a nice one. Irwin aggressively puts himself in danger for our amusement, jumping on crocs, grabbing snakes by the tail, and letting bird-eating spiders crawl up his arm. Though infectiously good natured, Irwin seems to harbour a deeply disturbed, morbid fascination with Australia's varmits - the deadlier the better. And now, on the back of his massively successful U.S. television show (mildly successful here) comes The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course, which - despite a dramatic side-plot - plays like an 85 minute version of the TV show of Irwin picking up, prodding and poking Australia's toothy wildlife. Forking out good money for a DVD, therefore, of what you can see for free on TV makes as much sense as croc wrestling. To make matters worse, the TV show format does not translate well to the big screen. As if throwing in the towel, writers John Stainton and Holly Goldberg Sloan have come up with a stultifyingly silly plot that occurs completely outside Irwin's realm, making him not so much the central hero as a bit player on the side who comes to the rescue.

What we get, therefore, are scenes of Steve and Terri going through their trademark, unscripted, one-take wildlife encounters intercut with scenes of the CIA agents, the crazy farmer, and the croc-that-swallowed-a-satellite. As a film, it stinks like croc poo, wasting the talents of Wenham, Szubanski, Bastoni and Beahan in embarrassing roles. But as infectious fun, it does have a low-brow, low-rent charm.

Nevertheless, the DVD is chock-full of outtakes, eco-friendly banter, enviro-trivia and behind-the-scenes mishaps, which is sure to satisfy Croc Hunter fans. In the seven-part feature called Lights Camera Croc, the cast and crew rehearse scenes from the film. Watch aghast as a wounded Irwin and wife Terri get in a dingy and tease 12-foot croc Charlie with bait until they need to be rescued. Scream like Irwin's terrified daughter as a recovering Irwin jumps side-to-side over a creek before diving to safety. Be gob-smacked as Irwin handles a King Brown who gets so stressed he has to be incubated. Let's hope they had an animal welfare officer watching over the making of all this. The optional Croc Track is a feature in which information boxes pop up on screen. Then there's the photo gallery, comprised of 50 stills of the cast and crew and the Irwins pulling faces. A better movie or DVD feature might have been a documentary on how (and more importantly, why) Irwin's father taught nine-year old Steve to jump on crocs in the rivers of North Queensland at night. Then again, maybe there's no understanding this lunatic.

Published April 17, 2003

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CAST: Steve Irwin, Terri Irwin, Magda Szubanski, David Wenham, Lachy Hulme, Kenneth Ransom, Aden Young, Steve Vidler, Steve Bastoni

DIRECTOR: John Stainton

RUNNING TIME: 85 minutes

PRESENTATION: 2:35:1 widescreen; Dolby 5.1

SPECIAL FEATURES: LIGHTS CROC ACTION: Setting the Scene with a Killer Croc, Lights, Camera, Croc Attack!, Dicing with Danger, Up the Creek with a Croc, King Brown Snake Shot, Snakesational Action, The Deadliest Snack in the World; CROC TRACK; PHOTO GALLERY: Behind-the-Scenes, From the Film, The Irwin Family, The Many Faces of Steve, Crocs Rule!

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Fox Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: April 9, 2003

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