The Stream: The PG rating limited the movie and at times felt too cartoon-ish.
The Big Screen: You cannot stop loving and rooting for Buck.
The Final Bill: Entertaining family movie that lacks the literary authenticity.-S2S: Movie Review
Director: Chris Sanders
Writers: Michael Green (screenplay by), Jack London (based on the novel by)
Stars: Harrison Ford, Omar Sy, Cara Gee, Dan Stevens
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Family
Runtime: 1 hour 32 minutes
Notable Trailers: In the Heights, Wendy, The Personal History of David Copperfield
*Majestic wolf howls in the background* Welcome back to Stream To Big Screen! This week we were able to review the new version of the often adapted Jack London classic, The Call of the Wild. If you haven’t read the book in a while or just don’t remember, the book is about a dog named Buck who against all odds makes it through the roughest parts of the Yukon to find his true calling in the wild (skipping a bunch of key part and oversimplifying).
Now, let’s get this straight. THIS MOVIE DOES NOT FOLLOW THE BOOK! DO NOT TAKE YOUR CHILD TO SEE THIS MOVIE INSTEAD OF THEM READING THE BOOK. THEY WILL GET A “C-” AT BEST. THEY WILL HAVE THE GIST OF THE BOOK BUT NOT THE CORRECT DETAILS. Now let’s get to the review of this movie.
Twentieth Century Fox Animation and Twentieth Century Fox brought us this latest version and I must say as far as animation goes, it was the star. The film looks bright and crisp. The scenery is quite immersive. I almost know what it feels like to actually ride on a dog sled. Speaking of dog sleds, the animation with the dogs is sometimey. I’ll admit most of the time the animation portrays the dog’s emotions and expressions flawlessly. The other part of the time I feel like I’m watching a cartoon, a la Garfield, Scooby Doo animation. Quite frankly, it’s off-putting. I wanted to forget that I was watching CGI creatures but the quality of these effects just kept on reminding me (I’m looking at you mystic wolf). Now, this same aspect I’m sure kids wouldn’t even mind.
Kids also won’t mind that this movie is almost too light. This book has some very heavy scenes and themes but this movie approached those same concepts in the lightest way possible. The PG rating handcuffed the producers almost too much. I understand they were producing this for a younger audience, but they may have gone too light for this classic. The PG rating definitely influenced how closely this movie could come to the true spirit the literary piece of work.
Long story short, The Call of the Wild is an American middle school reading classic adapted to the big screen a few times. This movie has been updated with all the dog-loving CGI you can handle. This movie will be perfect for the classroom for kids but just worth a matinee visit for the family to the theater.