Based on the novel of the same name by Jack London which was incredibly first published back in 1903. The Call of the Wild is the latest adaptation of the novel. I remember reading this in school and loved it, but this is the first silver screen adaptation that I have actually seen.
One of the most amazing things about this movie is the team behind the camera. It is directed by Chris Sanders, shot by Janusz Kaminski and the script was handled by Michael Green. That is some heavy-duty, a-list talent right there. Even from the trailers, you could tell that this was going to be a more “epic” kind of family movie.
The story of the movie has been kind of done before. The main attraction is a gorgeous and fun-loving big dog called Buck. The movie starts with us getting to see Buck living his life with various owners. It is great stuff as it really makes you build up a fondness to Buck and helps you get an understanding of his character.
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The Movie Review
Buck eventually ends up with a sad and grizzled man called John who is played by Harrison Ford (yes, Han Solo). John is a very interesting character, he has a roughness about him, but he is also a very vulnerable character in that he has never gotten over the death of his son. Buck is just what he needs in his life.
The movie is set in the wilds that is the Yukon and in the heat of the gold rush. It is a fantastic setting for a movie and the movie looks phenomenal. Speaking of looking phenomenal, the animals are all CG and they look amazing. I could not tell what was real and what was not and there are still some scenes where I would swear it was a real animal.
The plot of the movie moves along at a pretty brisk pace. There is some character development here and there with some other characters. Buck and John do come across some rather bad people and animals so there is a bit of peril here as well. In many ways, the movie ticks all of the boxes of what you would expect from a wilderness adventure.
You have the rough rapids, a crazy avalanche, dangerous animals, and so on. While this kind of thing has been done before, The Call of the Wild handles it superbly and it is a thrilling ride. I am sure, kids will mostly care about Buck as will the adults. However, Harrison Ford as John is a really compelling character that you do want to see become happy.
I went into this expecting it to be a good movie, but it was even better than I thought it would be. It is the kind of movie that is perfect for a family movie night as it has something for everyone. It is a solid story and I am shocked that the movie is not getting more recognition for just how fantastic it looks.