Film Reviews by PS

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The Call of the Wild

Reduces a classic children’s book to a pastiche

(Edit) 13/09/2020

I was really looking forward to this movie - the book is deservedly a classic with its unflinching portrait of nature as vast and unforgiving, and the memorable relationship between Jack Thornton and Buck. It’s often the first book that children read where not everyone lives happily ever after.

Unfortunately the movie chucks out everything that’s good about the book, and reduces it to a Disneyfied shaggy dog story where every plot shift has to wear a hi-viz vest to be seen coming a mile off. I don’t mind the CGI but I do mind Harrison Ford having to gamely play along with this drivel. Opportunities for wide screen shots of fantastic landscapes are passed up in favour of hokey races through ice caves.

Of course, you could say this is just the rambling of a curmudgeonly adult - but my 10 year old who’s read the book hated it too. We agreed that one of the few good things coronavirus had done was close cinemas when this was showing!

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