- The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course
The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course
US Theatrical release poster
Directed by John Stainton Produced by Judy Bailey
Written by Derek Drymon Starring Steve Irwin
Distributed by MGM Release date(s) July 12, 2002 Running time 90 minutes Country Australia
Language English Budget $12,500,000 Box office $33,436,931
The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course is a 2002 Australian comedy-adventure film based on the nature documentary series The Crocodile Hunter, starring Steve Irwin and his wife Terri Irwin. The Irwins play themselves filming an episode of The Crocodile Hunter while trying to protect a crocodile. The film was theatrically released in the U.S. by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which used a crocodile in place of the usual Leo the Lion for its title credit logo sequence.
In space, a top secret US satellite suddenly goes off its orbit, triggering its self-destruct mechanism. The resulting explosion sends a piece flying towards Earth, landing in Australia where it is eaten by a large Saltwater crocodile. CIA Agent Ron Buckwhiler (Aden Young) and Deputy Director Reynolds (Steve Bastoni) reveal that the satellite fragment was a beacon containing millions of classified images and secrets, which could change the axis of power in the world in the wrong hands. They decide to send Agents Wheeler (Lachy Hulme) and Archer (Kenneth Ransom) as well as an operative in Australia.
Steve and Terri Irwin are filming an episode of The Crocodile Hunter about the less-loveable of Australia's wildlife. They encounter a Perentie, Fierce Snake, and a Bird-eating Spider. They decide to take the spider with them so they can study it at Australia Zoo. They also take a orphaned Kangaroo baby and a King Brown snake they found on a road.
The crocodile that swallowed the beacon lives in the river cutting through Brozzie Drewitt's (Magda Szubanski) property. Brozzie, a rude rancher with many aggressive attack dogs, has taken it upon herself to kill the croc, as it has been preying on her cattle. The sound of her shotgun has prompted nearby ranchers to call the (fictional) Department of Fauna and Fisheries. They send Sam Flynn (David Wenham). He arrives and tries to convince Brozzie to hire some experts to remove the crocodile and he reminds her that killing a crocodile is illegal. She makes him leave, threatening to sick the dogs on him. That night, she waits in a tree with a chicken hanging ver the river in order to catch the croc. She ends up falling in the water with it and passing out on the shore when she finds out her shotgun is wet.
Archer and Wheeler arrive in Australia and meet up with the native operative, Jo Buckley (Kate Beahan). Unbeknownst to the two men, she was hired by CIA Department Director Ansell (Steve Wilder) to obtain the beacon before Archer and Wheeler so he could take the job as head of the CIA instead of Dept. Director Reynolds. The three follow the beacon on GPS to Brozzie's ranch, where they arrive at the river.
Flynn sends the Irwins to relocate the crocodile so it doesn't get hurt. The croc attacks them numerous times before they manage to get a rope around its top jaw. The large animal then proceeds to pull their boat down the river. They are pulled right past the three agents, causing them, and the CIA, to believe that the Irwins have the beacon and will use it to pay for a $40 million expansion to the zoo. Due to them being at many remote parts of the world during stressful times, as well as having been granted full access to two US air force bases, Reynolds and Buckwhiler order the agents to arrest them. All of a sudden, Brozzie's dogs attack the three, causing Wheeler to fire his gun to scare them off. Brozzie then shoots at Wheeler with her shotgun. Steve hears the gunshots and believes poachers are after the crocodile. Brozzie allows the agents to stay once they claim to be the croc-hunters Sam Flynn sent. She takes Buckly up to the house and leaves the dogs to keep an eye on the boys. Once they leave, Wheeler uses a dog whistle to scare off the dogs and they begin pursuing the Irwins in their Jeep.
The Irwins catch the croc and put him in a wooden crate. As they're driving to the spot to release him, Archer and Wheeler pull up right behind the Irwins, and Steve believes them to be the poachers when Wheeler fires his gun in the air. Wheeler jumps on the back of the truck. Steve then gives Terri the wheel and hops on the side of the truck. Climbing to the top, he sees Wheeler. Wheeler pulls out his gun, but he drops it when Terri swerves the truck (due to the spider escaping from its container and crawling on her face). The two men fight, and Steve tosses Wheeler off the back of the truck. As he's falling, Wheeler grabs a rope and gets dragged behind the truck. Steve pulls out the King Brown snake and dangles it by Wheeler's hands, causing him to let go. They then arrive at the river and they put the croc in their boat. Looking into the crate, Steve sees that the crocodile had "pooed" during the trip. In the poo, he finds the beacon, believing it to be rubbish that someone had thrown away. Archer and Wheeler find the truck by the river and get in their own boat to go after them.
At the ranch, Buckley tricks Brozzie and locks her in her own bathroom. She then goes into the barn and discovers an Ultralight aviation and several sticks of dynamite. Buckley blows open the door and flies off, determined to get the beacon. Sam Flynn then arrives and lets Brozzie out, and the two go off to find Buckley.
Steve and Terri release the croc in the river, but they then hear the agent's motor. Steve gets together a bundle os bags and nets in order to make it look like they still have the croc, so they can lead the "poachers" away from the real croc. Buckley then swoops down, dropping the dynamite on the Irwins as well as Archer and Wheeler. The explosions knock the two agents into the river. Worried that the dynamite will hurt the croc, Steve grabs a rope and lassoes one of the ultralight's wheels, causing it to crash into the river. Steve and Terri drive off believing that the "poachers" have learned a "fair-dinkum Steve-O lesson". Sam and Brozzie arrive at the crashed plane and believes Buckley to be dead, but she survived and swam to shore. She then calls Dept. Director Ansell, but he is then arrested for his crimes.
Afterword, Steve is seen playing with the beacon, throwing it to their dog while Terri feeds the baby kangaroo. Then, a bunch of US military helicopters appear.
In an epilogue it is revealed that Steve was confused as to why the Army were so upset about their beacon. The CIA then gave Archer and Wheeler to work at Australia Zoo to better understand wildlife for no pay. Brozzie became a volunteer for the Department of Fauna and Fisheries, but she was still having trouble with the crocodiles.
- Steve Irwin – Himself
- Terri Irwin – Herself
- Brozzie Drewitt – Magda Szubanski
- Sam Flynn – David Wenham
- Robert Wheeler – Lachy Hulme
- Ron Buckwhiler – Aden Young
- Vaughhan Archer – Kenneth Ransom
- Jo Buckley – Kate Beahan
- Deputy Director Reynolds – Steve Bastoni
- Deputy Director Ansell – Steve Vidler
The film received mixed reviews, with a score of 53% freshness from review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes. Roger Ebert gave a positive review, stating "You see a couple of likable people journeying though the outback, encountering dangerous critters and getting too close for comfort, while lecturing us on their habits and dangers and almost being killed by them." Robert K. Elder of the Chicago Tribune said, "Irwin and his director never come up with an adequate reason why we should pay money for what we can get on television for free."
Film aspect ratios
Collision Course is relatively rare among feature films, in that it was shot in two film aspect ratios, 1.85:1 for the scenes with Steve and Terri and 2.35:1 for the plot about the Australian farmer and the CIA and their efforts to find the tracking drone. In theaters and on DVD, the 1.85:1 image appears with pillar boxing, a format usually reserved for 1.33:1 ratio content appearing within 1.85:1 or 2.35:1 frames.
- The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course at the Internet Movie Database
- The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course at AllRovi
- The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course at Rotten Tomatoes
- The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course at Box Office Mojo
- IMDB's newsgroup reviews
Cinema of Australia
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