by Michael Renouf
One of 2020’s early offerings is the umpteenth film version of Jack London’s 1903 novel of the same name set in the gold rush era.
Buck, the hero of our story is a spoiled dog owned by Judge Miller and one night while sleeping out on the porch, gets dognapped and transported to the Yukon where strong dogs are in demand. He soon gets sold to Perrault (Omar Sy) who needs him to join his dogsled team that delivers the mail. Buck has a lot to learn but is quick on the uptake and after a rocky start, enjoys his new life and master. After a few shared adventures the two go their separate ways as sadly Perrault has to leave, meaning Buck’s future is uncertain but luckily John Thornton is waiting for our furry friend after a couple of previous brief meetings. Thornton is ably portrayed by Harrison Ford following in the frosty footsteps of Clark Gable and Charlton Heston to name just two.
Fans of the previous versions of this movie will find many differences not only with the tone of the story – more family friendly and less harsh (although still some scenes that sensitive little souls may squirm at) but it is in the doggie stakes that those who have not seen the trailer will be most surprised.
A lot more sanitised than the book, but that is no surprise as the novel was written the same year as the Wright brothers maiden flight. Don’t go expecting anything similar to previous incarnations but a version more fitting of 2020.
This week’s star of the show is the veteran actor Harrison Ford.
More mild than wild entertainment. 3 out of 5
Call of the Wild
If you have kids, they might enjoy it but for adults who have seen one of the previous versions you will leave feeling a little disappointed.