There have been numerous screen adaptations of THE CALL OF THE WILD and with each version came a thrilling and inspiring musical score, the story has once again been adapted for the screen this time with Harrison Ford in the main leading Human role of John Thornton. The story which is hailed as literary classic by Jack London, has enthralled and broken the hearts of many and in this the latest incarnation of the tale, we see the a large hearted canine, BUCK who is separated from his domestic life in California and thrown into the wilds of the Yukon, set in the Gold Rush days of the 1890.s it tells Bucks story which is an inspiring and heartfelt one, in which we see him transformed from a pet into the lead dog on a sled team for the U.S. mail service. The music for this particular version of the story is by John Powell, who has written the scores to a number of Hollywood successes, including, SOLO A STAR WARS STORY, HOW TO TAIN YOUR DRAGON, FERDINAND, PAN, RIO 1 and 2, KUNG FU PANDA, THE BOURNE IDENTITY series, PAYCHECK, SHREK and so many more. This in my opinion ranks as one of the composers best scores, there are so many themes within the work, that are rich and luscious, sweeping strings, ethnic as in Gaelic sounding passages and beautiful lilting tone poems fill the soundtrack, the composer utilising banjo, fiddle and what I think is an accordion to create a wealth of catchy and haunting compositions, the opening cue WAKE THE GIRLS setting the scene wonderfully for most of what is to follow.
The soundtrack is filled with drama and also has to it vibrant and affecting musical moments where the composer mixes strings, percussion, woods and choir to fashion a sound that is affecting and highly emotional. There is an alluring and poignant style and sound to this work, the themes being filled to overflowing with emotion and at times turning to melancholy. It is also a score that I would say is pleasing and entertaining, inventive and totally absorbing. There are times within the score that I was reminded of the sound we all associate with Jerry Goldsmith, with brass and percussion taking the lead and being driven along by strings, its grand and expansive but at the same time it remains thematic, catchy and above all entertaining, think maybe, STAGECOACH, BANDOLERO, WILD ROVERS or RIO CONCHOS style at times, that are enhanced by quite foreboding choral performances which in turn are given respite by a more subtle and melodic side to the work performed on solo guitar and subdued woods. Well worth checking out.