The Call of the Wild – 2020

  • Originality: The book by Jack London is one of the great classics of American literature and it is repurposed here with some more modern sensibilities and a rewarding relationship between the dog and his final master. This film feels a bit strained as it tries to make itself relevant, but overall it does its message justice and does London proud. [4.0]
  • Performances: The main character of this film is a dog, and while there are animal actors who do a great job and give stellar performances, this film chose to use CGI to create its lead which allowed for a lot more flexibility. This means that the human actors are acting against a CGI animal which causes some struggles for legitimacy in their performances. [3.5]
  • Technicality: The biggest technical marvel of this film is the dog that appears on screen in pretty much every scene, sometimes to the film’s detriment. The advancements in computer-generated imagery are astounding and overall this film does a decent job of navigating the uncanny valley and making the dog seem real, except when he’s indoors or moving around too much. [3.0]
  • Rewatchability: Thanks to the heartfelt message of this film, there will likely be plenty of opportunities to re-appreciate this film, certainly thanks to its relative closeness to the book. Harrison Ford is always charismatic and, though he doesn’t give his all, he remains engaging and his deep growl pulls the audience in pretty quick. [3.5]

Total – [14.0/20.0]

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