“The Call of the Wild” calling to be watched


photo by Amazon

Harrison Ford in the universal “Call of the Wild” movie poster.

Based on Jack London’s 1903 novel The Call of the Wild, The Call of the Wild recreates the adventures of a dog that is spoiled and endures suffering to man, up until he finds his place in the wild. The fictional elements from the book are brought to life in the film, creating a likeable and whimsical film. 

Released Feb. 21, the action packed events of the movie make it fast paced, but still enjoyable. Buck is a big-hearted and big-in-size dog that is given human-like mannerisms throughout the film. Buck was an enjoyable character to watch and connect to, although he has no voice. The focus of the film is Buck’s story, narrated by the character John Thorton played by Harrison Ford, an older lonely man that Buck meets and eventually adventures with. 

Not only with the unique story, but with the fantastic cinematography, viewers are able to experience a sort of coming of age story. Buck was clearly an animated dog as he pulled brave stunts a regular dog couldn’t do on command, but it did not have a negative effect on the overall look. The landscaping and animation work brought the movie together and brought the imagery from the book to life. 

The movie starts with Buck in his domestic life, where he is spoiled and allowed to do whatever he pleases. During the night, the dog catchers suddenly took him from his home in California to Alaska in the 1890s. On the boat over to Alaska, one of the men beat him with a wooden baton stick, which became significant throughout the film.

An animal abuse trigger warning can be made, although it only takes place in two scenes. 

In a way the movie feels like it has a coming of age theme, but through the story of Buck. He transforms from a rookie to leader of a pack. The leadership he learns comes into play at the end of the movie when he finds his place.

With multiple dogs showing up in the film, it was really important for the CGI to be spot on and give the dogs enough emotion, but not too much because it would make the dogs seem too humanized. 

The cinematography was entertaining to watch, because of the attention to detail. What caught my eye the most was a montage of the team with Buck as the leader. The camera angles and transitions of the dogs running through different landscapes made it an interesting part to watch. 

There were also some tear jerking parts in the movie. The character development of Buck was very strong, from the beginning, so when bad things happened to Buck, the viewer sympathizes with him.

Overall, the movie perfectly fits into action and adventure with a heart warming touch throughout.