A story of friendship, loss, and having to carry on through hardships without those that have passed sounds like it could be interesting. Unfortunately, that is not the story one gets when watching “The Wild Life.”
However, it is one that was experienced when I watched the movie.
“The Wild Life,” also known as “Robinson Crusoe” outside of North America, is a movie about a group of wild animals on an island going about their lives when a man, his pet dog, and two evil cats become shipwrecked in a storm and arrive on the small, peaceful island.
The man, named Robinson Crusoe, does his best to try and survive on the island while the animals observe him from a distance.
Believing him to be a sea monster, two cats use their fears and trick them into trying to attack and chase of Crusoe while the felines got aboard the ship’s wreckage to attack one of the island’s inhabiting animals, a parrot, and Crusoe’s pet dog.
The short, conflict that mostly involves the parrot running and the dog flinging the cats around, ends with the dog becoming trapped and getting blown up once a barrel of gunpowder catches fire.
This story is comparable to my own experience when I went to the theater and saw this movie. I took my seat with my faithful companion, a nice, delicious cup of soda. However, like Crusoe, I did not expect such a terrible circumstance to befall upon me.
Unfortunately, once I was aware of what I had gotten myself into, I was already too far out into the sea to escape.
While I managed to survive, I felt a deep sorrow wash over me. As the movie continued, I realized that the drink which had kept me sane through this mind-numbingly dull movie, was empty.
Mourning the loss of this faithful companion, I had to continue on without him. However, this is where the likeness with Crusoe ends.
While I had to press on alone, Crusoe was immediately befriended by the local animals of the island, and seemed to get over the loss of his dog almost instantly.
In fact, it is almost as if the dog never actually existed in the first place. The faithful and loving pet is never mentioned again after it dies and Crusoe gives it a funeral, and its death seems to have little to no effect on the overall plot or characters.
I suppose killing off the dog companion is fine in a kid’s movies, but adding some form of gravity to it is asking a lot of the writers.
This is just one example in how “The Wild Life” is a movie in which everything that could be poorly written is made such.
The film’s characters have hopes, dreams, and world-views that they are willing to simply drop at any given notice.
For instance, one such character, a small bird named Kiki, is skeptical about Crusoe even when everyone else is trusting him, not wanting their perfect paradise to be ruined.
However, she has no problem just going along with what the others are doing and pitches in help Crusoe with construction of his new home and strange water systems.
Along with a lack of a decent story being told, even the action scenes in the movie fail to redeem it, as they elicit no form of excitement or tension, instead just being animals chasing other animals through pretty locations.
In fact, I felt more tension when I heard the dreadful slurping sound, signaling that my drink was now empty and that I was all on my own for the remainder of this journey.
While many others forget about you and pretend like your sacrifice meant nothing, like how “The Wild Life” treated Crusoe’s pet dog, I will continue to remember your passing my soda.
You helped me through a movie that had a weak story, boring action sequences, terribly written characters, and an ending in which almost nothing changed and status quo on the island was maintained.
“The Wild Life” is playing in the University Cinema from September 30 – October 6.