The Call of the Wild

The Call of the Wild


By James Davidson


“The Call of the Wild” is a movie based on a popular novel by Jack London of the same name. It’s the story of a spoiled family dog named Buck and his journey to the wilderness of the Yukon to fulfill his destiny. He makes many friends, and enemies, along the way, and ends up helping a down on his luck prospector named John Thornton (Harrison Ford) find his way home.


After seeing the previews for this movie and learning what it was about, I was expecting a nice, feel good adventure story. That’s almost exactly what this film delivers. The plot is a bit simplistic, and predictable, but it’s still very entertaining and engrossing.


The visuals in this movie are breathtaking, most of the movie takes place in the wilderness of Alaska, and the scenery is simply beautiful and awe inspiring. While most of the scenery is very obviously computer generated, along with all of the animals in the movie, the CGI is done very well and isn’t bothersome at all.This is one of the few times I think I’ve actually enjoyed a movie that was mostly CGI animals and scenery.  I was particularly impressed with how they were able to give the animals almost humanlike emotions simply by using facial expressions. It was very easy to understand what was going through the animals minds just by looking at the expression on their faces.


While most of the characters in the movie were CGI animals, the few humans that were in the film did an excellent job acting, led by Harrison Ford. Ford plays a prospector John Thornton, mourning the death of his young son and is running to the Yukon to escape dealing with his emotions. Buck helps John come to terms with his feelings of loss over his son and to deal with them in a more helpful nature. Ford does a fantastic job portraying this character that is so full of emotion and remorse.


If I had one complaint about this movie, the plot is a bit simplistic and predictable. I could almost tell you what the ending was going to be after the first ten minutes of the movie. Other than John Thornton, most of the human characters are pretty one dimensional with little development. The animal characters however were a bit more complex and added more layers to the story. I would have liked to see the movie dive into some of the human characters’ stories a little more, just to add some complexity to the plot. While I have never read the novel, I have heard that the plot of the novel is much more in depth and that this is an oversimplification of the original story. 


This movie is rated PG for some violence, peril, thematic elements and mild language. This is a great family movie that everyone in the family should enjoy. While it is a bit simple, it’s still very enjoyable and appropriate for the whole family.


“The Call of the Wild” is a great family adventure movie. It’s very well made, even if the plot and some of the characters were a bit plain and predictable. I really enjoyed this movie and I think it would be great for a family outing and will probably be seeing this film again. It earns 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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