A grumpy, growly Harrison Ford stars alongside a CGI dog in this latest cinematic take on Jack London’s classic—far too nasty to be faithfully adapted for kids—The Call of the Wild. Shooting for a safe PG, much of the story’s violence, against humans and dogs alike, has been removed in favor of a more family-friendly take on the fable of a man and his dog. The dumbing down of the original text might’ve been forgivable if some of the CGI animal antics weren’t so jarringly unrealistic. Buck, the cartoon dog, would’ve been far more suitable for a completely animated CGI affair. In a way, it’s the humans who sometimes throw things out of whack. The humans and the CGI beasts don’t look like they belong together. I can give the movie a mild recommendation if you’re looking to take the kids out for the night. This movie slips into that category of clumsy family fare that will please the kids and allow the parents to watch a movie comfortably knowing that nobody gets fully naked or rips somebody’s tongue out. But as straight-up adult viewing, with no kids, The Call of the Wild probably won’t do the trick.

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