Back Add a Comment Share:
Introduction
We’ve seen that the rest of the world has fallen in love with our very own Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin… It’s just a shame that we haven’t. If the “adventurous” television series just wasn’t enough for you, you’re in luck. Steve and Terri are back, this time in their embarrassing (for both themselves and the audience) theatrical film debut, Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course. Most likely, we all think of our “mayyyte” Steve Irwin to be a bit of a dag, stereotyping the “Australian way” even more so than it already has been compliments of Mr. Croc Dundee. Even though on the surface (in our eyes) he does seem like a bit of a goose, he’s definitely a clever goose. Rather than taking a boring, generic, educational approach to documentary style television filming, Stevo has applied an enthusiastic character to his outback adventures that has won the hearts and spare time of audiences universally. Sure, us Aussies are finding Steve Irwin’s act hysterical… But Steve’s the one laughing his way to the bank.

Worldwide audiences just can’t seem to get enough of our Steve. A member of an online discussion forum admits that Steve’s approach to nature is as equally comedic as it is scientific. We have to pay it… a documentary style film with comic attachments is a genius concept that is sure to work. Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course is definitely something that the majority of us at home wouldn’t rush out to see, or as a matter of fact, rush out to even rent. It lacks energy and is subject to extreme repetitiveness throughout. If you’re relying on Steve’s goofball act to keep you entertained for the whole movie, you’ll soon come to realise that this will turn out to be quite a long and tiresome 85 minutes.
Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course

Movie
First thing’s first. You wouldn’t expect a movie starring Steve Irwin, the crocodile hunter himself, to have the most sophisticated plot of the pack. Unfortunately, this turns out to be the case. Despite the incredibly bland and just plain embarrassing screenplay, we have to accept that the primary intention of this movie is to showcase Steve Irwin himself. The storyline of the film just seems to be something that gives Irwin an excuse to creep his way onto the big screen to win the leisure time of even more audiences worldwide. After browsing over a couple of online discussions here and there, I can regretfully say with complete honesty that he’s succeeded. It’s just unfortunate that I’m picky when it comes to determining the value of a film. Perhaps if we’d been given a decent screenplay (we’re not asking for Paul Thomas Anderson, but please…), less attempts at bleached “Australian” humour (note: refer to Magda Szubanski’s infamous bathroom scene and Steve Irwin’s reaction to “poo”) and some entertaining and fun characters we’d be able to consider this movie as an enjoyable Friday night popcorn flick. For what it’s worth, here ‘tis…

When a top secret U.S. Satellite malfunctions and self-destructs during orbit, its black box containing important Government data plummets its way down into the boundless Australian Outback, slipping itself into the mouth of (you’ve guessed it) one mean, hungry crocodile. In a state of immediate panic, the U.S. Government assigns two shady secret agents in a suspicious guise to retrieve the valued black box. So there we have it. The angry croc has swallowed their device and as we can predictably assume, these two agents are going to experience all hell as they try to make their way through this truly disastrous collision course.

To make things even worse for both the characters and the audience, callous localler Brozzie Drewitt (a part that’s wasted by the usually talented comedian, Magda Szubanski) seems to be having a little croc trouble herself. A ruthless and darn ravenous croc has made a home of her swamp and treats its gourmet tongue to none other than her cows. In a state of raging fury (quite a funny one, actually), Brozzie is tempted to make use of the old rifle and teach this greedy croc a memorable lesson. As tempting as Brozzie’s desires are to her, both the law and local Wildlife Marshall (played by David Wenham- possibly the only good thing about this film) are standing in her way. Oh, yeah, did I forget to mention that this is the same vicious croc that’s swallowed the black box?

Finally, there’s Steve and Terri. It’s just damn lucky that these two familiar faces aren’t a part of the sorry story as above otherwise this film probably would have scored a well deserved ‘1’. For basically the entire movie, Steve and Terri are cruising the Australian outback, doing their thing as usual. During their dangerous and thrill seeking adventures they mistake the two government agents for a couple of nasty poachers. While the agents are on a quest to retrieve their black box, Steve and Terri are on a mission to save this beauty from becoming meat on Brozzie’s sandwich.

The attempt at an intersecting plot fails miserably and as the movie progresses things just seem to become more disastrous. It seems that the effort put into this movie just wasn’t enough. The directing is terrible, the screenplay unspeakable and even though the performances are a joke in themselves, they still manage to make the talent we see in an episode of Passions shine. It’s just a shame it had to come to this… If planned properly, this could have been some fun.

Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course

The Video
Thankfully, the generous folk at MGM have provided us with a sharp, crisp and overall brilliant transfer that offers some compensation to the film itself. The film is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and is 16:9 enhanced. One aspect of the presentation that has had its fair share of talk, however, are the scenes that include Steve and Terri. All scenes that feature the croc-hunting duo are framed as a 4x3 image within the 2.35 presentation. To put it simply, this is just a full screen presentation that’s boxed into the original 2.35 presentation, hinting that Steve and Terri are filming their segments for their television program as we watch their on-screen action. Although this format of filming is intended to add to the effect, it definitely gets in the way considering Steve and Terri have the majority of screen time.

Basically the whole film takes place in the Australian Outback and at all times the transfer is clear, sharp and detailed, enhancing the visions of the landscape. The colour is precise at all times and always seems perfectly saturated. There is hardly any grain whatsoever, which is a real relief. In short, this DVD shines with a somewhat commendable transfer and definitely adds a generous amount of value to the package.

The Audio
The Audio on this DVD package is by far the most valuable asset. We have two audio tracks recorded here: An English Dolby Digital 5.1 track and a Czech Dolby Digital 5.1 track. English is the only language that I understand, so the first seemed like a good idea. I honestly must say, the audio boasted its capacity throughout the entire feature. The surround channel operation is quite fantastic, capturing the sounds of the Australian outback without any detectable flaws. The subwoofer is put to good work from the first moment and shakes the ground beneath us when we encounter the odd explosion. There isn’t really any score, even so, the dialogue is always crystal and is never subject to background interference. Not bad at all.

Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course

Extras
There sure doesn’t seem to be anything that special about this special edition. For starters, compared to the Region 1 release also released by MGM, we were completely robbed! It would seem by glancing over the back of the Region 4 cover that we’re treated to quite a few goodies, but if we look closer, basically all of the bonus features are behind-the-scenes featurettes. Quite disappointing considering the Region 1 release included deleted scenes, a music video and theatrical trailer, just to name a few of the many.

Our special features menu is divided into three sections- some that branch off further (although, not to a satisfying extent) to reveal some additional supplements. First up, we have Lights, Croc, Action!. This forwards us to a collection of seven behind-the-scenes featurettes. All of these segments are narrated by Steve and Terri and unfortunately, there is no option to view the featurettes without the narration. All seven of the featurettes are quite short and quite similar, exploring the dangers of working with such deadly animals as the killer crocs and venomous snakes. Also covered is the preparation and training for shooting and some behind the scenes shots of the creatures. Once you get to about the third, it seems like déjà vu. Not that entertaining.

To follow, we have an additional two features. First is a Photo Gallery that is divided into five different sections that differ in subject. We have a Behind-the-Scenes Gallery, Still Shots From the Film, The Irwin family Gallery, The Many Faces Of Steve and Crocs Rule!

To finish up, we have quite a fun little feature which is a Croc Track- a pop-up fact track throughout the film, offering various bits of trivia as we view the film.

Quite bluntly, the extras package on the disc isn’t commendable at all considering we were robbed of the best goodies of the pack. Knowing those extra features are out there somewhere doesn’t make things better, either.

Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course

Overall
The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course suffers on many levels. Although this film can’t be taken seriously (or so I hope), It still doesn’t manage to be either comedic or educational. I’d recommend that fans of the television series stick to the show and avoid the flick, as it doesn’t offer anything more. On a further note, I was extremely disappointed to see Australian icons that have proved their talent, such as Magda Szubanski and David Wenham, embarrass themselves on-screen like they do in this film. A tourist attraction and nothing else more.  


Links: