Movie Review – ‘The Call of the Wild’

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

As you may have noticed, I’ve reviewed quite a number of dog films. These include the likes of the ‘Beethoven’ films; ‘Pudsey the Dog: The Movie’, ‘Patrick’, ‘A Dog’s Purpose’, ‘A Dog’s Journey’ and ‘The Dog Who Saved Christmas’ films. I’m not sure why I’m taken to seeing these dog-focused films.

Cuddles: “Wuff, wuff! I’m a dog! Wuff, wuff!”

Thank you, Cuddles! (continues) But the thing I’ve noticed about these dog films is that they tend to vary in terms of quality. Whether they’d be good dog films or bad dog films, I always seem to take an opportunity to check out these dog films on the big screen or on DVD to see if there’s value in them.

That’s certainly the case with the latest dog film at cinemas called ‘The Call of the Wild’. Based on the 1903 short adventure novel by Jack London, ‘The Call of the Wild’ starring Harrison Ford seems to be the latest in a long line of dog films that’s been made to get a lot of viewers to see it at cinema.

Unfortunately…it’s been a box office bomb and has gained mixed reviews by critics. This I can appreciate. We’ve had a tired formula of man’s best friend getting the spotlight of going on a journey with a certain master/mistress, affecting the lives of many others as well as him/her in story.

But after seeing the film with my parents lately at the cinema, I found it to be a nice film to watch at the cinema. I’m not claiming this is a masterpiece of a dog movie, but I enjoyed the story and the characters compared to some of the cheaply-made action-packed extravaganzas we’ve had recently.

The story takes place in the 1890s where a dog named Buck gets stolen from his home in California. He’s sent to the Yukon where he gets to be a snow dog before befriending an old man in Harrison Ford. Pretty soon, Buck and Harrison Ford’s character get to share a life-altering adventure together.

As I said already, Harrison Ford is the main star of the film, playing old man John Thornton. It was amazing to see him in a dog film like this having seen him play Han Solo in the ‘Star Wars’ movies as well as Indiana Jones. Honestly, I feel he delivered a great performance playing old man John in this.

The film also features Omar Sy as Perraut as well as his assistant Cara Gee as Françoise, who acquire Buck during the snow business of delivering mail across the snowy mountains in California. I did wonder how long we were going to be in the snow for in the film before we got the summer part. 😀

There’s also Dan Stevens (who I’ve seen in 2017’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ as well as ‘Downton Abbey’) as Hal, a man who’s bitterly obsessed and corrupt with acquiring gold and mistreats Buck and the other snow dogs once acquiring them. I realised it was Dan Stevens after the end credits. 🙂

Karen Gillan is also in this film, playing Mercedes, Hal’s wife in the film. I seem to be seeing Karen Gillan more frequently in films. I saw her as Amy Pond in ‘Doctor Who’; Nebula in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ from the ‘MCU’ and being in the two latest ‘Jumanji’ films. She’s not even in this film much.

The film also features Bradley Whitford as Judge Miller, who is Buck’s original owner at the beginning as well as Colin Woodell as Charles, who works for Dan Stevens’ Hal, I believe. Scott MacDonald, who’s been in two roles in the ‘Star Trek: DS9’ series, is also in this film playing Dawson.

The criticisms laid against the film include the uncanny CGI of the animals including the dogs and the huge bear. Yeah, even I could see that the animals were CGI. But then again, what can you do with that? A lot of time would be needed to train such animals to be focused in certain scenes of the film.

Despite that, I enjoyed ‘The Call of the Wild’ at the cinema. Harrison Ford delivers a great performance in the film and I found the CGI of the animals decent. The story of Buck and his journey to find a place in the world was very compelling and the film had me gripped from beginning to end.

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂

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