Before Watching “The Call of the Wild,” Paws and Read this Review

Courtesy+of+IMDb

Courtesy of IMDb

BOAZ KIM, STAFF WRITER

   Like most movies starring a dog, “The Call of the Wild, was sad and cheesy. I would say this made the movie ruff to watch. Directed by Chris Sanders, it is a story set in the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush about a Saint Bernard named Buck and his best friend John Thornton as Harrison Ford, who takes the role of Buck’s best friend. This film is adapted from the 1903 novel, “The Call of the Wild,” written by Jack London. 

   The movie’s plot revolves around Buck, a dog who is kidnapped and then sold into a dog sled team that delivers mail. At first, Buck is hesitant about this new lifestyle. However, later on, he becomes the leader of the pack. 

    Inevitably, when something is going well for the main character, conflict is bound to arise and that was no different in this film. Buck’s owners are forced to sell the dog team, and the dogs are left alone, stranded again. They are then bought by an abusive owner who is in search of gold. Buck gets ill, and John saves Buck’s life. After this, Buck runs off to live with John in the wild. The movie expresses the common theme of “man’s best friend” with the relationship between Buck and John. The film concludes with the adventures that Buck and John go through and the conflicts that they endure. 

   The film had a basic theme, for a dog movie.  The “action” scenes were very predictable and not surprising at all. There was no feeling of suspense or “edge of the seat” moments that I crave in action scenes. In addition to this, many of the moments in the movie were cheesy and not well scripted.

   One drawback was the digital technology used to create the dogs. Because of the mix between real human characters and computer generated animals, many scenes felt awkward. Real dogs would have been much more appealing to the emotions, Film critics agreed. 

   “Harrison Ford does quietly powerful work as author Jack London’s hero, but his computer-generated co-star looks weird,” Film Critic for the Chicago Sun-Times Robert Roeper said. 

   Putting the many negatives aside, one thing I liked was Harrison Ford’s role in this movie because he was a quality character match for Buck. The relationship between him and Buck was flawless. It was also one of the only good things about this film. 

   Overall, I would say this is a mediocre family movie. However, for all other audiences, I would not recommend this movie. It did not leave me with the feeling of sadness, excitement, and joy all mixed into one, like other dog movies have done. In the end, these key emotional components were really what this movie lacked.