Call Of The Wild Review
Twentieth Century Fox
What’s It About?
Adaptation of the classic Jack London novel, based on a dog who is stolen from a life of Riley, and forced to work as a sled dog in the Yukon wilds during the Gold Rush.
Who’s In It?
Harrison Ford (Star Wars, Indiana Jones, & more recently Blade Runner 2049)
Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey, Beauty And The Beast, & more recently Marshall)
Other notables include:
Bradley Whitford (The West Wing, Saving Mr Banks, & more recently Get Out)
Karen Gillan (Doctor Who, Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol.1-2, & more recently Jumanji 1-2)
Director: Chris Sanders (Lilo & Stitch, How To Train Your Dragon, & more recently The Croods)
Now in its fifth incarnation, this latest adaptation of Jack London’s classic tale sees a rugged Harrison Ford take on the role once played by Clark Gable, Charlton Heston and Rutger Hauer.
The dog, on the other hand, is played by movement specialist Terry Notary with mixed results. The benefit is that the comedy and the pathos are heightened, with pitch perfect timing, but the downside is that the audience can never fully invest in the feature as the dog is never completely believable and therefore the film is never completely immersive. That said director Chris Sanders, of How To Train Your Dragon and The Croods fame, has created a thoroughly enjoyable family romp in the mould of a Black Beauty or Warhorse which sees a beloved animal forced on an odyssey.
Buck, a St Bernard Collie cross, first appears living a life of luxury in California. But then dog-nappers steal the pampered pooch and he is sold up in the Yukon valley, before being picked up as part of a dog-sledding mail delivery service. Initially the newbie, Buck soon becomes the alpha dog on the team, before again being sold, this time to a mean and unpleasant prospector. Eventually the hound finds solace in the company of lost soul John Thornton, who is coming to terms with the death of a child.
With a great cast including Harrison Ford, who delivers one of his most engaging turns in some time, alongside Dan Stevens, Omar Sy, Cara Gee and Bradley Whitford, plus an entertaining performance from a CGI Buck, Call Of The Wild is a rich, entertaining family adventure, which delivers both highs and lows.
In A Nutshell:
A thoroughly enjoyable family adventure based on the classic tale, which is sure to bring a tear to the eye.
The classic story
The tremendous cast
The heightened humour balanced with the pathos
The CGI is a little too much at times, pulling the viewer out of the story