Hollywood Needs To Cool It With the CGI — Harrison Ford’s Movie to Lose Millions

Published on March 3, 2020

Harrison Ford’s latest film is set to lose up to $50 million at the box office, and it might have something to do with the CGI used in the film.

The movie is The Call of the Wild, based on a Jack London novel of the same name. It follows Harrison Ford and a dog named Buck as they navigate the wilderness of Alaska together. The book is a classic. The movie, maybe not so much.

The Call of The Wild has been in theaters for two weeks, and it made $79 million globally. It sounds like a lot until you factor in how much the movie cost to make.

The film cost north of $125 million to make and needs to make more than $250 million to break even. A huge reason that the film was so expensive to produce is because of the use of CGI to create Ford’s furry friend.

The dog just doesn’t look quite right. In still shots, his fur is actually quite impressive, but his head looks a little electronic. When he’s running or jumping it becomes increasingly obvious that the dog is computer-generated. The more you watch, the worse it gets.

Maybe someday CGI technology will get to the point where we can animate things we all see every day with no discernible difference to the real thing, but we’re clearly not there yet.

Sound Familiar?

We all remember the fiasco that was Cats. The CGI in that movie was so bad that its own stars openly mocked the film at the Academy Awards.

Both films have fan-favorite A-list actors in the casts. These films completely had potential, as both Cats and The Call of the Wild were adapted from widely loved source material that should have been easy for audiences to love. Then they got carried away with the CGI.

CGI Isn’t Always a Disaster

CGI is totally fine in movies if it’s done well, and it’s done well often. One of the best examples of CGI done right is the 2019 movie Avengers: Endgame. The Marvel action movie uses CGI in a way that is far more seamless, but maybe audiences were prepared to suspend reality a little bit more for a superhero film. Or maybe the visual effects team is just better for Endgame.

Harrison Ford’s movie and it’s bad CGI is the perfect example of what happens when CGI goes wrong. Audiences are turned off by these furry and unrealistic versions of beloved domestic animals. It’s an outrageously expensive mistake for studios to make. The unfortunate misuse of CGI is causing movies to be so much higher risk when it comes to visual effects and the result is disappointing for moviegoers. Reign it in, Hollywood.

Olivia Smith is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in San Francisco, she covers events, entertainment, fashion, and technology. She also serves as a Voices contributor at PopSugar.

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