Reviews for The Call of the Wild ( ) 720p

IMDB: 6.9 / 10

Throwback family entertainment and a landmark film....

Chris Sanders has made some tremendous family movies at Disney and Dreamworks. Clearly brought up on the great Disney movies of his childhood and preceding it, he has made a career of pairing together unlikely friendships, with unique tools to realise it.

I have never read the book, and from what I've heard it's clear he has taken the spirit and produced an adaptation something like what Walt Disney would have done. Here is where the film really resonated with me - what would Walt have done?

Sanders has, perhaps for the very first time, realised what you have to do to make a live action film with a CG animal as your protagonist truly work. We all sat there wondering why Disney's astonishing Lion King remake felt quite so soulless last summer. The reason - there's zero point in making your animals so realistic, to the degree that you can't relate to them. Sanders understood this when taking on Call of the Wild. Buck is a fully realised CG Disney animated animal. Everything bar talking. We relate, empathise, laugh and are moved with what he does because of the character that they've brought to life. It might look real, but then so did Lady, Tramp, Nana, Pongo, Perdita etc in the hand drawn classics within the environments they were in. Imagine if we'd watched those characters without, well, the character. This was the mistake much of The Lion King remake made, and what Sanders knew and steered well away from.

Buck is fully believable in inhabiting the adventure he takes with a spirited Harrison Ford performance. The film feels like a throwback to the sort of Disney films the studio used to make in both live action, and animation - and at least to this viewer, felt like a revelation, 'penny has dropped' kind of moment for how to animate animals if you want to put them front and centre of a live action movie. Don't let them talk, as that's pulling us out of buying their presence. Yet absolutely make them characters.

Anthropomorphism people. you have to make them a little bit like us for us to care. Walt knew it. Sanders has learnt all the lessons from the master.

For the first time in a long while, this felt to me like a film Walt would have made if he was around to oversee the technology advances in animation. This is a proper Disney family adventure movie. Technically groundbreaking, but full of heart and spirit. I suspect it will be considered a classic in years to come.

How ironic it took a Fox film to do what Disney's live action remake movies have failed to do at this point. Perhaps the studio was destined to become part of their portfolio. Just like Pixar was. Pictures made my filmmakers that want to make the films Disney used to make.

Don't miss this.

Far better than the trailers made it look

For a $135 million dollar costing financial flop that stars a much ridiculed CGI dog as its main protagonist, The Call of the Wild is a surprisingly watchable family affair that is nowhere near as bad as its terrible trailers or marketing campaign made it look to be.

Marking his first foray into non-animated feature film-making after well-liked efforts Lilo and Stitch, The Croods and How to Train Your Dragon, director Chris Sanders had a difficult task adapting Jack London's famed source material for the big screen and you can sense the film is never completely comfortable within itself as our computer generated furry friend Buck sets out on an Alaskan adventure filled with life lessons, gold and a grizzled Han Solo.

It takes us as viewers sometime too warm up to Buck in his current form, something that would not have been the case had Buck been played by some real life pooches (just look at recent effort Togo as an example) and it hurts Call of the Wild in the long run as Sanders tries to invest us into Buck's journey that takes him from spoiled pooch to mistreated captive on his quest to be partnered with Harrison Ford's isolated alcoholic John Thornton.

On the way to this inevitable pairing, there's a somewhat enjoyable if not overly well-established sub-plot with Omar Sy's mail delivery sled team owner Perrault, which is fine if not particularly memorable and a terrible Dan Steven's appearance as the horrid extremely overplayed villain of the piece Hal but once Thornton arrives on the scene, Call of the Wild becomes a far more enticing experience that showcases the potential of London's source material, too display a likeable scenario of man and dog's friendship.

It helps that Ford seems as invested in this role as much as his been in the last few decades, delivering one of his better all-round performances in some time as his on screen charisma and enthusiasm helping us forget that Buck is only ever mildly believable in his imaginary form, no doubt necessitated by a raft of situations in the film that would've been impossible to pull off with a real life canine in the role.

There's not a lot of surprises to be found narratively here, with London's story pillaged and pilfered from in the many years since it was published but with the film's latter half more than making up for a rough beginning and weak segments, this pretty to look at example of financial failure on a big-scale is a film that many will still find highly entertaining and enjoyable.

Final Say -

Overcoming some at times hard to take CGI and a poor opening half, The Call of the Wild isn't a new canine classic but its central relationship between a lost human soul and a caring four legged friend makes it an adventure you won't regret taking.

3 gold nuggets out of 5

Not Very Interesting

My spouse and I were looking forward to this movie but were very disappointed. The animation was not great. Buck was different sizes at different times. The movie was not very interesting. We watched it at home and I ended up fooling with my phone while it was on.

Why do we always have to check boxes?

Really? How many black mushers were there, with Inuit girlfriends, back in the 1800's. I'm so tired of classic remakes, where the main priority is to show how "culturally diverse" we have become. Just stick to the original script; is that too much to ask?

To the people moaning about the cgi

To all those moaning that the dogs are cgi, what the heck did you want? Animals being hurt??Good it's cgi! Nice to see animals NOT being used for a change!Think of what the real animals would have gone through if they were real! Stop complaining

What "The plague dogs" 1982 instead!

What a disappointment! CGI dog with human emotions, politically over-correct and over dramatized story...Instead of wasting your time with this BS, watch "The plague dogs" 1982You can watch it for free at archive dot orgJust search for it at archive dot org

Unreal

This movie is so plastic nothing looks real..No plot worst cg.. if they made dogs talk at least it could have been funny....

An insult to the original story; the dog's transformation makes no sense

The wake of inner wolf of Buck is pretty baseless in this movie (he gets off the ship and see an inner wolf ; then his grow wildness is portrait in no way but occasional hallucination of a black wolf; he is a pet to man until a female comes along, so technically it's call of ** rather than the wild).

While the original novel captures the reality, complexity, and spirit of men in the Gold Rush, and Buck's transformation from a family dog to a wild being, this movie picks the easy parts and make it a rosy fairytale, you can feel the effort to make the "right" impressions -- it's ok, but does not fit the title -- where is the "wild" in this? I was 7 when I read the original story and it's been my favorite since, so I don't think we need to ruin the novel so completely to protect the kids.

CGI overload.

The first minute becomes apparent that there is no dog. It's a computer generated one .Obvious one and not very good.You lose that human element.A CGI animal is impossible to care for .The film didn't pick up and it couldn't recover .

AN ACCEPTABLE FAIRY TAIL

Films with a lack of attention for some details, a plot with a lot of holes, little emphasis and poor characterization of the characters, except for their features that distinguish them. In the end, Buck captures the whole attention, making him the true and only interpreter of the story; worth mentiong the incredible work in making these beasts so realistic and characteristic, with a beautiful and smart use of the CGI. Hopes were for something more, but the result is still acceptable, since it entertains and intrigues without problems.

The Dog?

Watched a minute then turned it off. The worst CGI I have seen in ten years, which is such a shame with Harrison Ford involved.I'll still to all the other tremendous films he has done. The studio should be embarrassed.

So looking forward to this but...

It was spoiled for me in the first few minutes when it was apparent that the dog (the star of the film) was totally (and badly) CGI! WTF! There are so many fantastic dog stars, why not use one of those? So disappointing. Couldn't watch it and walked out! This should have been a hard, moving film and not a semi real family cartoon! Great book, lousy film!

Be the master of yourself

It is the crises and tribulations that fate has in place that make the brave and the leaders

Yes the Dogs are CGI

To all the people who are complaining that the dogs were CGI, what do you say for a MCU film.

Do you want them to bring a real life Thanos??

They did a good job on CGI.

Great movie for the family

I am not sure how the story in the book goes, but the movie was great! It had adventure, beautiful scenery, laughter, and sadness. The entire film flowed well, it had intensity and kept your thoughts wanting to discover what happened next.

DISSAPOINTING!!!

Really????A CGI dog in a Disney classic??Its like in a Belgium bistro making spaghetti Bolognaise in the microwave!Just lost my appetite!

If you make a dog movie, make the dog behaves like real dog

This is a real people movie. Everything in the movie is so fake and all animals behaves weird. This is the animal version of cats. It's a total distortion of the original fiction. You should not get technology in the hand of wrong people.

A Plastic Movie

I can understand a wide use of CGI for a sci-fi movie: space-ships, aliens, remote stars, etc are hardly available for filming; same for dinosaurs and similia. But for God's sake, The Call Of The Wild features forests, woods, snow and dogs...dogs! Why does one need an ordeal of CGI to film such things? Why does one need to create a fake, digital dog (and the wrong one, at that)? One has to wonder how cinema could exist before the invention of CGI....As if this were not enough, we are then forced to watch a classic of literature bent to the needs of having a Disney family movie...The last touch of this hall of shame which is The Call Of The Wild is that Buck, our hero CGI'd dog, acts like a human. Yes, the dog which is called back to his wild roots, the dog which undertakes this epic journey from human civilisation to the wilderness of the woods, is made look like a human being. The director could not find a better way to give a dog its own dignity than to make him act and look like a human being, the very same acting like beasts in the very same movie....how more stupid can human being be?

A disaster of an adaptation

Very little of this movie follows the book besides a few names and places. The death of John Thornton was made up as were many key elements of the movie. It was really sad to see such a beloved book be butchered so badly exhibiting gross disregard for the storyline of the book.

Dear Hollywood...

Stop trying to PC everything. If you'd made an actual authentic film here, it would have sold like gangbusters. But instead you drop in an African American guy and Asian lady as Francois and Perrault and a CG dog as Buck for Christ's sake. A CG DOG in a classic such as this is insulting. You liberal idiots ruin everything. I hope California breaks off into the Ocean soon.