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CALL OF THE WILD

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CALL OF THE WILD

* * (Adults)

* * * (Children)

(Based on Jack London's novella)

Harrison Ford has the impossible task of interacting with a computer-generated dog in this adventure tale based on Jack London's novella, "Call of the Wild.”

I credit the book with making an avid reader of me as a young man, with its tale of an abused dog who goes on an incredible adventure in the Arctic cold, becomes a hero many times over, and answering his call of the wild.

The movie takes many freedoms with the book, giving Buck human features and actions that turn him literally into a cartoon character, along with his pack of sled dogs and forest creatures. That may be OK for the kids, but it spoils it for the adults, especially those who grew up with the great adventure story. Buck is dognapped from his cushy southern mansion home and sold as a sled dog by the abusive men searching for gold in Alaska.

A kindly sled dog mailman (Omar Sy) trains Buck to be a sled dog pack leader, helping him deliver the mail, until the  postal delivery is no longer practical and he is sold to a mean, greedy prospector who mistreats him.

John Thornton (Harrison Ford, who also serves as narrator) a lonely man who has escaped to the wild to be alone in his thoughts after his son dies, befriends him, and they head North to find peace. There are ice rescues, avalanches, bears, rapids and all of the obstacles that you can imagine in the wild before and exciting, destined ending.

I'd like to imagine the tale from the book and not the computerized version, but today's kids are more programmed for this style of storytelling.

Rated PG with some violence and profanity.

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