• A Cry In The Wild (1990) - Good for what it is - 6/10 (23/02/14)

    A Cry In The Wild (1990)

    This movie is a moderate budget television adaption of the critically acclaimed novel "Hatchet" written by the American author of young adult literature Gary James Paulsen. The short novel published in 1987 tells the story of a young teenager who has to survive for several weeks in the Canadian wilderness after a plane crash.

    The main challenge of this eight-two minutes long movie from 1990 was the fact that the whole story is carried by the main character alone. Most of the novel and the movie takes place in the wilderness and features no dialogues but some soliloquies. Child actor Jared Rushton did an accurate job even though I disliked the fact that a sixteen-year old teenager played the role of an unexperienced thirteen-year old boy.

    Despite the solid acting, this movie sometimes feels like a National Geographic documentary that shows us incredible landscapes such as forests, lakes, mountains and waterfalls and a multitude of animals such as bears, porcupines, raccoons and wolves. This is definitely beautiful to watch but gets quickly boring.

    Due to the low budget, some scenes feel a little bit goofy. One can clearly see that the wild animals are trained and tame. The fighting scene between the main character and a bear in a lake even made me unintentionally chuckle.

    On the other side, a couple of scenes of this movie are actually filled with tension. Where the book sometimes gets too descriptive, the movie has a faster pace and the solid soundtrack helps up building some atmosphere. The sequence where dream and reality mix as the main character encounters a lone wolf is very well done and my favourite part of the film along with the campfire fighting scene. A few mildly shocking scenes in form of the eating of worms or the appearance of the pilot's ugly cadaver in the plane wreck added some spice as well.

    A few elements in the movie are different from the book. Some new ideas such as the covering with mud to protect from mosquitoes work very well. On the other side, the flashback scenes are a little bit redundant. The alibi side story around the divorce of the main character's parents is rather uninteresting in the novel and in the movie as well from my point of view.

     

    In the end, this short movie was quite entertaining and is worth to be watched once if you liked the book and the survival genre in general. Especially younger audiences should like this movie even though nothing beats the classic Enid Blyton movies of my childhood. Adults should rather go for survival movies like "The Grey".

     

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