To boldly go where no dog has gone before
The Call of the Wild (2020) delivers a refreshing take on Jack London’s classic tale. For those who don’t know, the film tells the story of a recluse dog named Buck who embarks on an epic adventure after being kidnapped from his comfortable home in the South and brought to the North.
This film shines in many ways, with the first being its stellar cast. Harrison Ford stars in the film as distraught outsider John Thornton whom Buck meets during his adventure. Ford brings much of his lovable self back for this film while distinctly embracing his age through his character. His voice-over also works really well, navigating the story as it was told to the viewer.
Omar Sy (The Intouchables, Jurassic World) also gives a solid performance as head of the sled dog mail team (which is a slight downgrade from training velociraptors in Jurassic World might I add), bringing genuine care and emotion to his interactions with Buck. Karen Gillian (Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Endgame, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle), Bradley Whitford (Get Out), and Michael Horse (Twin Peaks) also perform well in the their limited roles.
The crew also does a wonderful job bringing this film to life, beginning at the helm with director Chris Sanders (Lilo and Stitch, How to Train Your Dragon). Sanders, a long time animation director and writer, does wonderfully in his live-action directorial debut as he brings new life to the classic story. Always dependable screenwriter Michael Green (Logan, Blade Runner 2049) pens a tight script that formulates the rather enjoyable (and sometimes emotional) adventure film.
Composer John Powell (How to Train Your Dragon, Solo: A Star Wars Story) adds another solid score to his resume with this film, amplifying the adventure through his music. Finally, the CGI in the film is wonderfully done. Buck, as well as all other animals portrayed in the film, are digitally created and exceptionally so. Despite the daunting task, each animal portrayed is believable and their interactions with each other and humans feel authentic in nature.
The Call of the Wild (2020) is an enjoyable adventure film for all ages, offering an exciting film-going experience during it’s 1 hour and 40 minute run-time. Will you answer when the wild calls?
Rating – 8/10