The Call of the Wild Poster

The Call of the Wild (2020)

Adventure | Family 
Rayting:   6.8/10
Country: Canada | USA
Language: English

A sled dog struggles for survival in the wilds of the Yukon.

Director: Chris Sanders Writer:

Stars: Harrison Ford, Omar Sy and Cara Gee

 
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User Reviews

dylanhorne-76909 21 February 2020

This is a great family movie. It has all the aspects of what makes kids smile. However, this is not the adaption of Jack London's book that I was looking for. In my opinion, in searching for that feel good vibe, it lost the character that defined the original story. Everything was made PG and the raw unforgiving reality of the book was lost in translation. Additionally, the CGI was good, but over used to the nth degree. Its worth a watch, just keep in mind that this movie is a rather loose adaptation.

archanademonia 8 July 2020

I went into this not knowing anything about the movie except a friend of mine said "once you know you know" (referring to our favorite movie as kids - Balto). I did not know it was based on a book, I did not know it was going to be CGI. At first I was a bit taken aback by the CGI, but I quickly learned to love Buck, and I feel like the team did a great job with the animals in this movie. I thought they looked good and were pretty naturally animated. The story seems very mild, and I guess it has to be for a family friendly movie. After reading some comments I guess the book tells a bit of a different story so I'll be heading over to read that now! But all in all, this was a decent watch - perhaps for a movie night with kids, or if you just want something very chill.

Davor_Blazevic_1959 23 February 2020

Before writing anything about the film itself let it be noted following.

(1) Screenplays are usually related to source materials (works of fiction or documentary depictions of factual events and experiences) with the phrase *based on*, which is mostly read as *copied from* (whether a fictitious depiction or reality) although fully faithful account of events and their protagonists almost never happens, so, in all fairness, it might be safer to understand such relation simply as *altered from*.

(2) Furthermore, CGI has erased strict distinction between live action and animation, introducing a new method and a whole new form of cinematography by blending realistic imagery and kinematics of existing animals (and other fantastic beasts) with anthropomorphic expressions and gestures given to their stylized representation in the world of animation, a trend probably started in 1970's by ILM servicing Star Wars saga, getting (over)exploited in recent followers of the kind, most notably Disney's The Lion King (2019).

That having been said, in the latest take on Jack London's classic novel, screenwriter Michael Green and director Chris Sanders--apparently intentionally not bound by faithfulness to the original text, particularly avoiding its darker overtones, certainly counting with receptiveness from the audience, especially from those (among us) who have read the novel--have succeeded in meeting a great deal of expectations from the film seeking to be labeled with family entertainment attribute.

The Call of the Wild is the story of Buck (as main human character, John Thornton, described it), a dog like no other, he'd been spoiled, and he'd suffered, but he could not be broken... Buck's life gets turned upside down during the gold rush of the 1890s, when he was suddenly banished from his home in California and moved, first to Yukon, and then deep into the heart of Alaska, reaching Arctic Circle. *As a newcomer to the dog team delivery service - soon their leader - Buck is having adventure of a lifetime, finally finding his rightful place in the world and becoming the master of his own destiny.*

By smoothening London's honest account and description of--pursuant to extreme conditions easily understandable--truly violent interaction between people, animals and nature, primarily by minimizing cruel dog beatings at the hands of their masters and brutal, often fatal dog fights, film makers have altered such survival seeking Darwinian world, in which dog eats dog and a man is (often) a wolf to another man, by promoting rather-friends-then-foes approach towards strangers, and, whenever possible, insisting rather on gentleness than harshness of the great wild outdoors, overhauling the classic story to an easier digestible, ergo family friendlier.

Other qualities include good acting, with Harrison Ford as a stand-out, whose husky calm voice offers narration throughout the film, providing vulnerable yet soothing, almost comforting presence in his appearance as John Thornton, seemingly a gold prospector, but in fact, after losing his loved ones, a son to a deadly fever, and a wife to subsequent collapse of his marriage, no more than a grief-stricken redemption seeker. Also, in the first half of the movie, as a far north delivery service running couple, Omar Sy and Cara Gee are joy to watch in their often, despite all difficulties, comic relief providing roles.

Film demonstrates commendable seamless integration of CG imagery of beasts and beautiful environments into

katrinawilkinson 14 August 2020

I laughed I cried I got mad... the movie gave me all sorts of mixed emotions... a pretty good movie I enjoyed it very much brought me back to my childhood

jeppeh-45-168564 10 April 2020

Really? How many black mushers were there, with Inuit girlfriends, back in the 1800's. I'm so tired of classic remakes, where the main priority is to show how "culturally diverse" we have become. Just stick to the original script; is that too much to ask?

iboso64 21 February 2020

Very, very loosely based on one of the great adventures of literature, this movie frequently plays more like a 1970s Disney film. While I think it's awesome, using a CGI dog to put him and the others through the harsh action scenes, did they have to make him look so cartoonish in the more personal scenes? A dog's reactions should be that of a dog, not a human. About half of the names in the cast are in blink and you'll miss it cameos, and the film only really comes to life when the focus narrows down to Ford and Buck, getting in touch with nature. It's only the last half hour or so, with them, that keeps me from giving this an even lower score.

Karynsiegmann 21 February 2020

As it's dads 92nd birthday we went to see a movie I knew he'd love, Call of the Wild. Based on the classic novel by Jack London the movie tells the story of Buck the dog and his adventures as a comfortable city dog to a working dog in The Yukon, this is squarely aimed at the family market, playing down the cruel treatment of sled dogs and the harsh life. The CGI animals were good but didn't take me out of myself. It's schmalzy and cheesy but good fun and I shed a few tears. 3.5 stars George: A very dramatic movie with fantastic scenery of The Yukon! The animal animation was fantastic and Harrison Ford played a good role as the curmudgeonly loner. I remember reading Jack London's novels and I enjoyed this adaptation very much. 4 stars PS Meredith cried several times.

eddie_baggins 3 May 2020

For a $135 million dollar costing financial flop that stars a much ridiculed CGI dog as its main protagonist, The Call of the Wild is a surprisingly watchable family affair that is nowhere near as bad as its terrible trailers or marketing campaign made it look to be.

Marking his first foray into non-animated feature film-making after well-liked efforts Lilo and Stitch, The Croods and How to Train Your Dragon, director Chris Sanders had a difficult task adapting Jack London's famed source material for the big screen and you can sense the film is never completely comfortable within itself as our computer generated furry friend Buck sets out on an Alaskan adventure filled with life lessons, gold and a grizzled Han Solo.

It takes us as viewers sometime too warm up to Buck in his current form, something that would not have been the case had Buck been played by some real life pooches (just look at recent effort Togo as an example) and it hurts Call of the Wild in the long run as Sanders tries to invest us into Buck's journey that takes him from spoiled pooch to mistreated captive on his quest to be partnered with Harrison Ford's isolated alcoholic John Thornton.

On the way to this inevitable pairing, there's a somewhat enjoyable if not overly well-established sub-plot with Omar Sy's mail delivery sled team owner Perrault, which is fine if not particularly memorable and a terrible Dan Steven's appearance as the horrid extremely overplayed villain of the piece Hal but once Thornton arrives on the scene, Call of the Wild becomes a far more enticing experience that showcases the potential of London's source material, too display a likeable scenario of man and dog's friendship.

It helps that Ford seems as invested in this role as much as his been in the last few decades, delivering one of his better all-round performances in some time as his on screen charisma and enthusiasm helping us forget that Buck is only ever mildly believable in his imaginary form, no doubt necessitated by a raft of situations in the film that would've been impossible to pull off with a real life canine in the role.

There's not a lot of surprises to be found narratively here, with London's story pillaged and pilfered from in the many years since it was published but with the film's latter half more than making up for a rough beginning and weak segments, this pretty to look at example of financial failure on a big-scale is a film that many will still find highly entertaining and enjoyable.

Final Say -

Overcoming some at times hard to take CGI and a poor opening half, The Call of the Wild isn't a new canine classic but its central relationship between a lost human soul and a caring four legged friend makes it an adventure you won't regret taking.

3 gold nuggets out of 5

pegadodacruz 24 February 2020

Not sure what the critics saw that was so bad with the CGI on buck the dog... if anything the ability of having animal like emotions displayed felt much better than looking at lions trying to speak...I thought the movie was well put together. Harrison Ford does a very simple yet good performance, the narrative is simple and easy to figure out for adults but still very relate-able and, the whole journey of the protagonists is really good a true adventure of self-discovery... What really told me that the movie nailed it, was when in the end I asked my 9 year old, what was it all about... and she goes it's about being you, not letting others tell you what you can or cannot do... and my 12 years old, goes like it's about finding your place in the world...take the kids, have them be quite and listen...they might just get some life lessons out of it.

WillsFilms 19 February 2020

The Call of The Wild is a solid, incredibly well made movie. Buck is an extremely likeable protagonist who goes on a compelling journey of self discovery. Despite being a dog and not having a word of dialogue, Buck is an incredibly interesting, three dimensional character with a well developed arc. The CGI used to bring him to life is amazing. While it doesn't always look natural, Buck's CGI model is so expressive and can cause the viewer to experience a variety of different emotions, despite not even being there. Harrison Ford also does well as the elderly, depressed John Thornton, carrying a great deal of tragedy and mystery about his past throughout the movie. The movie also features stunning cinematography, with several beautiful shots and camera angles. It's a true joy to look at. However, there are a few problems with the movie. For starters, John Thornton narrates a lot throughout the movie, despite not being present for, and therefore having no way of knowing about, the events that he's describing. Another issue is Dan Stevens' character; Hal. Hal is an entirely unnecessary, one dimensional antagonist, who just doesn't work with the story this movie is trying to tell. His presence also completely derails John Thornton's resolution. However, despite these problems, I still recommend The Call Of The Wild. It's a fantastic movie, with an incredible protagonist and stunningly beautiful visuals that you shouldn't miss.

bexhillz 21 February 2020

When I first started watching this movie, I didn't think I was going to enjoy it, due to some of the scenes at the start, but as the movie went on, it got more and more BRILLIANT

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