Aussie adventurer Steve Irwin aka The Crocodile Hunter has avoided the death-roll and nabbed another feisty croc, hoping to save it from poachers. What Steve doesn't know is that the crocodile has innocently swallowed a top secret US satellite beacon, and the poachers are actually American special agents sent to retrieve it. Crikey! In the Outback and through the bush with his wife Terri's ever-present commentary ringing out over the countryside ("That was a close one, Steve!"), the Crocodile Hunter is out to save the gorgeous croc and relocate him. It won't be easy, but if he can handle bird-eating spiders and venomous snakes without getting bitten, gun-wielding agents shouldn't be too much of a problem. Written by
Does just what his TV show does with a rubbish plot to justify the film kids and fans will like it but other than that I didn't really see the point of this existing
When a secret US satellite strays out of orbit it automatically self-destructs. A top-secret beacon is ejected with the explosion and ends up somewhere in Australia where, unbeknownst to the authorities, it is swallowed by a big mean crocodile. While the US mobilises a small team of men to recover the beacon at any costs, on the ground in Australia is Steve Irwin and his good lady wife are in the outback looking at the less loved outback animals. When they get a call about a crocodile terrorising an area they go in to capture it and move it to a less populated river system. However what they don't know is that the crocodile has this secret cargo that will put the Irwin's on a collision course with the US agents.
I've seen bits of Irwin's TV show once or twice but have never really watched more than that or cared to but the sheer silliness of this film made me think it was worth a look. Needless to say I was wrong because all I found here was the same sort of stuff that I've not been bothered enough to watch when it has been on regularly on TV. The plot is very basic and was not even used that well, suffice to say that it is the weakest frame I've ever seen and for the first half of the film it bares no relation to the Irwin's and only makes up the odd sort scene here and there. Instead what we get is lots of Steve Irwin messing around with snakes, lizards etc which is hardly enough to be worth going to the cinema for but, if you like the TV show then you'll find more of the same here. I quite enjoyed these parts of it (albeit I could have easily had the film be 60 minutes long rather than 90) mainly because of Steve.
I know that some people find him annoying and I couldn't watch him do the same stuff every week but he does have a certain charm even if he is silly and hammy with all his lines. His handling of animals is impressive and the film does produce a hatful of scenes that do nothing for the narrative but are still riveting. Terri is less impressive and more wooden but then she fits in with the rest of the support cast in that vein as folk like Wenham, Szubanski, Hulme, Young and others could all easily have been replaced by blocks of wood without the film suffering that much (although Beahen was cute).
Overall this is a solid enough film for kids with a nice message about conservation that is delivered without the usual smugness that such things have. Beyond kids I suppose it will do for fans of Irwin because it captures his "act" and his charm really well but you do have to wonder why anyone would pay to see this film when it is essentially what you can see on his TV show for free. I quite enjoyed it although to be honest I'd rather have just watched the short version on his show than this film.
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