Lol of the Wild


Lol of the Wild

It’s time to add dogs to the list of Hollywood actors whose roles are inexplicably doled out to mediocre white guys. Just like when Matt Damon starred in that movie about China, the canine hero of the new flick Call of the Wild was also played by a random white guy. Although, if you’re going to start replacing animal roles with humans, it’s probably best for it to be a white guy. 


Hollywood would be a lot better off if it let Chinese people play Chinese roles and dogs play dog roles. In an ideal world, cats would also play cat roles…but that would’ve robbed us of the only unifying conversation topic of 2019 (the shittiness of Cats). Also, that would be made impossible by the fact that cats have the work ethic and obedience of, well, cats. 


To be fair, remarkable CGI pains are taken to ensure that Terry Notary, the actor playing the dog in Call of the Wild, actually looked like a dog. (Although the CGI made him look less like a real-life dog than a cross between The Chronicles of Narnia’s Mr Tumnus and Donkey from Shrek). 


Mr Notary was cast not because he smells particularly poor or needs to be taken for walks when he needs to go, but because he’s a super flexible circus performer. That meant he was able to accomplish difficult canine manoeuvres such as sitting, eating garbage and licking himself. He also got to nuzzle with Harrison Ford (which is honestly worth any amount of garbage eating). 


Harrison Ford did seem weirded out though. He said, “I’m rolling around on the floor with this guy, scratching his tummy.” (Sounds like a pretty hot date). But perhaps the weirdest part is that a distinguished 70-year-old man still uses the word “tummy.” 


Animal activists were actually pleased about the CGI dog. PETA said: “The beautiful visuals prove that you can make a film all about animals without exploiting a single one.” Too true. You really don’t need to exploit animals anymore. You just need to exploit middle-aged circus performers named Terry. 


Unfortunately, PETA is probably more excited about this movie than actual audiences. Call of the Wild didn’t do great at the box office; IMDb page view performance estimates it’s pacing just behind Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. That feeling when you spend a budget of $109 million and ask an Oscar-nominated actor to scratch a circus performer’s tummy, and then you can’t even beat Paul Blart 2.

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