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Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course

Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course

Since there is no Dr. Dolittle this summer kids have the chance to see the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, in some intense action down under.  The Animal Planet TV show gets the big screen treatment compliments of Irwin's colleague, John Stainton.  Unfortunately, the director/producer doesn't help his mate with "Collision Course" tacked on to the film's title.

Perhaps in expanding the show's concept to feature length required something else for the in-your-face Irwin to deal with besides wildlife.  And Stainton and writer Holly Goldberg Sloan decided to add American intelligence agents into the mix in wide-screen parallel format.  But, the case of the missing satellite device devoured by a crocodile which Steve has to capture and move to a spot away from the ranch of an angry, obese farmer (Magda Szubanski) does to the movie what Irwin does to a trio of "poachers."

Though The Crocodile Hunter turns into more of a joke than it really intends, it does start off with MGM's Lion replaced with a croc.  The small-screen niche of the wildlife activist and zookeeper follows the camera-friendly Steve and likable wife Terri.  Their travels throughout entail interaction that will amuse as kangaroos are snuggled and crocodiles are wrestled befitting Irwin's manic.  Think of it as a more ebullient, if frightening version of "Wild Kingdom."

His handling of snakes, and especially spiders shows Irwin comically adept at doing many important tasks while emphasizing the importance of not disturbing the ecosystem.  It's a croc, however, that Crocodile Hunter has to run its course with silly spy and space junk.

Szubanski, know for her Mrs. Hoggett in the Babe films, can't do much with her sullen Brozzie Drewett, a victim of a not so funny variation on Lake Placid where Betty White was oblivious to the unpleasantries concerning disappearing cattle.

While Irwin definitely has presence and zany charm, his first vehicle leaves crocodile hunter down under the weight of Hollywood's eager encroachment.

Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course

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