The Call of the Wild (2020)

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The Call of the Wild (2020)
Genre: Adventure
Directed By: Chris Sanders
Produced By: Erwin Stoff
James Mangold
Written By: Michael Green
Based On: The Call of the Wild by Jack London
Starring: Harrison Ford
Omar Sy
Cara Gee
Dan Stevens
Karen Gillan
Bradley Whitford
Cinematography: Janusz Kamiński
Distributed By: 20th Century Studios
Release Date: February 21, 2020
Runtime: 100 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $125-150 million
Box Office: $107.6 million

The Call of the Wild is a 2020 American adventure film based on Jack London's 1903 novel of the same name. Directed by Chris Sanders, in his live-action directorial debut, and his first film without a co-director, the film was written by Michael Green, and stars Harrison Ford, Dan Stevens, Omar Sy, Karen Gillan, Bradley Whitford, and Colin Woodell. Set during the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush, the film follows a dog named Buck as he is stolen from his home in California and sent to the Yukon, where he befriends an old outdoorsman and begins a life-altering adventure. The film was released in the United States on February 21, 2020, by 20th Century Studios.


Buck is a big-hearted dog whose blissful domestic life gets turned upside down when he is suddenly uprooted from his California home and transplanted to the exotic wilds of the Alaskan Yukon in the 1890s. As the newest rookie on a mail-delivery dog sled team, Buck experiences the adventure of a lifetime as he ultimately finds his true place in the world.

Why It Rocks

  1. It does stay faithful to the book it is based on, though most of the violent parts are changed so the film can be family-friendly and more suitable for children.
  2. Magnificent score by John Powell.
  3. Decent acting from actors, such as Harrison Ford, and Omar Sy.
  4. Likeable and well-developed characters, such as John Thornton.
  5. The recreation of the 1890's Yukton in the snow is well-done.
  6. Amazing cinematography.
  7. Unlike the original book and most adaptations, the film does have a happy ending. Though Thornton still dies, Buck moves on from his loss and honores his request to live for himself, becoming the leader of the wolf pack, getting a mate, fathering cubs and embracing the call of the wild within his new home.

Bad Qualities

Warning: Do not insert any points among the lines of people are angry with the 20th Century Studios logo in this section.

  1. The visual effects for the dogs look really unrealistic despite being made on a high budget.
  2. It's left unclear what exactly happened with Mercedes, Charles and the other sled dogs. While the original book had all of them along with Hal drown at the lake, here Hal survives but just mentions that he lost his dogs due Thornton's fault, though this doesn't specify whether the dogs escaped or not nor what happened to his sister and brother-in-law.


The Call of the Wild received mixed-to-positive reviews, who praised Ford's performance and the "entertaining action and earnest tone" but criticized the "uncanny" CGI of the animals. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 62% based on 196 reviews, with an average rating of 6.02/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "It's undermined by distracting and unnecessary CGI, but this heartwarming Call of the Wild remains a classic story, affectionately retold.". On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 47 out of 100, based on 43 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews." Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale, and PostTrak reported it received an average 4 out of 5 stars, with 59% of people surveyed saying they would definitely recommend it.


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