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Movie Review

When a top-secret U.S. government satellite explodes and sends an intelligence-gathering device into the Australian Outback, CIA agents rush to retrieve it. Just one problem: an ornery crocodile swallows it and Steve Irwin (TV’s Crocodile Hunter) is in the process of relocating that croc before it gets shot by a local cattle rancher (Brozzie).

What ensues is a wacky journey featuring a lot what makes Crocodile Hunter a popular cable series: Steve interacting with dangerous animals and eventually saving the day.

positive elements: Steve Irwin’s love and excitement about all living creatures is contagious. He believes in protecting animals and the habitats in which they live. He sees the beauty in God’s creation—even finding a venomous snake "gorgeous!"

While some children may want to imitate the way Steve handles snakes, spiders, lizards and crocodiles (well, maybe not crocodiles), he gives a very clear statement in the movie that he’s a professional, was taught how to handle animals by his father and that kids should not try to do what he does. He also talks about properly disposing garbage in the outdoors.

sexual content: On three occasions, Steve talks about lizards, spiders and crocodiles having cute "sheilas" waiting for them (but no animal mating is shown). After Terri helps him capture a rather large croc, Steve pats his wife on her backside. Terri takes off her shirt to wrap it around a baby kangaroo, exposing a low-cut tank top. When the CIA agents meet their local contact, Jo Buckley, the camera takes its time scanning her legs. Buckley also wears low-cut tops.

violent content: Lots of guns. Brozzie often fires her shotgun at the crocodile and once shoots at one of the CIA agents. Agent Wheeler enjoys shooting his gun at anything (dogs, spiders, Steve). Several intense scenes between Brozzie and the croc, and Steve and the croc may cause you to jump in your seat. Steve and Agent Wheeler fight (Steve thinks he’s a poacher). A dead kangaroo is shown on the road (the Irwins rescue her baby). Agent Buckley uses dynamite to blow up Brozzie’s barn and then try and capsize the CIA agent’s and Irwin’s boats.

crude or profane language: CIA agents use the word "h---" three times as an expletive. "D--n" is also used twice by Brozzie and the agents. "Idiot" and "w-nker" are used twice each. Brozzie tells Sam to "get his scrawny bottom back in the truck." Steve says, "That was one heck of an adventure" at the end of the movie and often uses his favorite expression "Crikey" (which Webster defines as a euphemism for Christ).

drug and alcohol content: None.

other negative elements: Brozzie’s dogs urinate on the ranger’s hat (shown as a close-up). Steve smells and examines lizard "poo," then puts it in his pocket. He also digs through croc dung. Brozzie passes gas several times while trying to squeeze out of a small window. The crocodile burps after swallowing the satellite.

conclusion: If you’re a fan of Steve Irwin’s television show, you’ll love every scene he’s in. There’s never a dull moment with Steve on the screen and the action is enough to keep audiences of all ages entertained. But the whole premise of the movie may confuse some children. Steve Irwin is a real person who kids know as an animal expert. When he’s wrangling a king brown snake—what you see is what you get. However, when the movie switches out of Australia and into CIA headquarters, the lines between fact and fiction get blurry. At one point, the CIA alleges that the Irwins are really secret agents and goes through a detailed explanation of how political unrest has followed the Irwins’ travels over the years. They even say Steve is purposefully trying to "steal" the intelligence-gathering device. All of this puts the Irwins—who have developed a positive reputation on television—in a bad light that’s never resolved.

Trying to meld reality and fiction also makes the action scenes between Steve and animals less believable. What makes the television show so entertaining is the spontaneity and unpredictability of Steve and animals. Some of the movie’s scenes—especially the opening lizard chase—feel staged. The Crocodile Hunter delivers lots of real-life fun and laughs with the Irwins. But the fictionalized story line often gets in the way and prevent it from being what Steve would call a beaut.

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