REVIEW BY: Linda Ruiz
The Call of the Wild written by Jack London in 1903 premiered on the big screen in 1935 starring Clark Gable and in several animated films as well throughout the years. This weekend, Director Chris Sanders adaptation of The Call of the Wild, released nationwide is aimed at young audiences and he assembled the best crew this side of heaven to make it happen. The screenplay by the talented Michael Green (Logan, Blade Runner 2049, American Gods, Heroes), the stellar editing team of David Heinz and William Hoy (War for Planet of the Apes, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) along with an incredible VFX crew, and Academy Award winning cinematographer Janusz Kaminski, is The Call of the Wild you will ever need to experience.
This seamless combination of storytelling, with John Thornton (Harrison Ford) narrating and a computer-generated creation of Buck so realistic it takes several scenes before you realize he’s not a real dog! Buck, a big mutt who looks part St. Bernard and part horse is the spoiled mascot in the California town he lives with his human family. His destructive ways are tolerated due to his strength and sweet demeanor which is not lost on a stranger who’s looking to sell dogs to gold miners in Alaska. Buck is quickly dognapped and shipped overseas where he experiences abusive humans for the first time. Able to adapt slowly to his new normal, Bucks survival instinct surpasses his desire to return home, which feeds his deep longing for independence.
The relationship between Buck and John Thornton is the heart of movie. Harrison Ford as the grieving father who is drinking his agony away will break your heart. Protected by his adopted Alaskan community he is trying hard to cope but it’s the imminent danger that Buck and the sled team are heading towards that propels John to action.
The Call of the Wild is filled with the adventure we loved as kids, but it’s the humanity and the underlying message of love and understanding that will stay with your children forever.