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The Tiger: An Old Hunter’s Tale

The Tiger: An Old Hunter’s Tale

Dec. 16, 2015 South Korea139 Min.
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8.7 1,438 votes

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Synopsis

While the Kingdom of Korea is under occupation by the Japanese, an old and experience hunter is challenged by the hunt of the last tiger.

The Tiger: An Old Hunter’s Tale
The Tiger: An Old Hunter’s Tale
The Tiger: An Old Hunter’s Tale
The Tiger: An Old Hunter’s Tale
The Tiger: An Old Hunter’s Tale
Original title대호
IMDb Rating7.3 2,204 votes
TMDb Rating7.6 15 votes

(14) comments

  • baaronDecember 31, 2015Reply

    An old saying goes: a mountain can only have one tiger

    …and what a grand Mountain Lord this one is.

    A magnificently CGI-ed tale of two families: human & tiger, and how the
    brutality of life atop the mountain doesn’t detract from their
    interspecies bond of gratitude, agony, vengeance and ultimately,
    comprehension.

    Unlike Pi’s tiger, this beautiful creature is at once awe-inspiring and
    pitiful, as the forest is ravaged by Japanese-led Korean troops in a
    vainglorious exercise to get obtain pelts of this fabled beast. The
    father-son relationship is raw and well-acted, as is the sad plight of
    the Korean hunters who are forced into a bind for the sake of their
    livelihoods.

    Strictly for feline lovers only — dog people may empathize with the
    wolves instead.

  • subxerogravityJanuary 12, 2016Reply

    The Thrill of the hunt

    It’s a very captivating motion picture but at the same time it can be a
    bit of a downer. An Old Hunter’s Tale follows Chun Man-Duk, an aged
    hunter taking care of his teenage son and conflicted by a complex love
    hate relationship he has with the Mountain King, A tiger that seems to
    be the Moby Dick to a few sub characters in the film.

    It reminds me of The Reverant, but instead of Leonardo DiCaprio going
    up against a bear, It’s a Tiger going up against a Japanese army
    occupying The kingdom of Korea.

    The focus on the Tiger as a main character caused for a lot of Iffy
    CGI. Then again, the story itself acts more like a old fable, allowing
    the filmmakers to be very, very surrealistic at times with the Tiger’s
    capability.

    So overall, the action does get the heart pumping as man stands off
    against the great beast, but the story is a real sad one, a good one,
    but not too uplifting.

  • noorungeeFebruary 10, 2016Reply

    Impressive CGI

    The special effects done in this movie by a Korean graphics firm (which
    also worked on Mr. Go) was on par with or better than many Hollywood
    CGI movies. I was impressed and touched by stunning visual of
    treacherous winter mountain in old Korea and sad and desperate struggle
    of its last wild tiger. I have to warn you this is an extremely sad
    movie. The tiger in this movie looks more mythical (resembles old
    korean painting of a tiger) than the one in life of PI which was also
    cgi-made. I recommend this movie to animal lovers, nature and adventure
    enthusiast, and Asian history and culture fans. more realistic and
    geared towards mature audience than Disney / Hollywood movies involving
    man vs wild.

  • Geoffrey WrightAugust 8, 2016Reply

    More than a simple hunting tale

    On the surface it’s about hunting a large tiger. Under the surface the
    story is really about the resilience of the Korean spirit and the
    hardships they endured under Japanese occupation. How the Japanese
    forced many of them to turn against each other, and how families were
    torn apart.

    Ultimately, the spirit of the people and of the homeland on which they
    were born and stewarded with their lives, wins out and are forever
    melded together.

    In all, a well told story with great scenery shots and some well done
    CGI.

  • Ajit TiwariAugust 8, 2016Reply

    It will give you chills

    Hoon-jung Park (New World fame) is a director who seems really keen
    with details. As we watch The Tiger: An Old Hunter’s Tale (2015), we
    witness a haunting tale of suppression and agony.

    An old hunter Chun Man-duk (Min-sik Choi) lives with his 16-year-old
    son and takes care of him. Kingdom of Korea is rules by Japanese and
    they are hunting for the tigers in the mountains in extreme cold. Due
    to some events and turns, Man-duk has to return for hunting.

    The screenplay is written perfectly and narration is astounding,
    however, one could deduce that movie is little long and some of the
    scenes could have been chopped easily to make it more crisp. It packs
    the real punch and throw it to the audience, we have a lot of tense
    moments which are truly crafted.

    Technically, the movie is impeccable, the CGI is mesmerizing because
    scenes with animals never looked like CGI, a lot of attention has been
    given to the details.

    Cinematography is exhilarating, each scene has been captured
    beautifully, the horror of wilderness and harshness of icy terrain will
    be in your mind even after long.

    We cannot comment on Min-sik Choi acting skills as he has been there
    and done that effortlessly, here he again leaves an impression on our
    hearts as an anxious father. The casting is just incredible; everyone
    is a perfect cut-out for the role, they did it wonderfully.

    A good movie with few shortcomings.

    7.5/10

  • manojp-18844August 9, 2016Reply

    Magnificent Epic that should be nominated for best foreign language film

    I’ll keep it short here. This is a magnificent motion picture that is
    emotionally resonant and powerful. Movie boasts Superb acting, sublime
    cinematography, haunting music, very impressive CGI and visual effects
    (specially considering this movie did not had at-least 5% of the budget
    for a Hollywood blockbuster).

    Performances from the entire cast is very convincing and especially Min
    sik Choi is amazing. The movie also delivers a timely and heartfelt
    message on humans confrontation of delicate aspects of nature.
    Filmmakers adds such an emotional arc to the tiger that demands from
    the audience to root for both sides of the conflict.

    Go see this amazing movie and IMHO, should be nominated for best
    picture Oscar. It is that great.

  • Reno RanganSeptember 4, 2016Reply

    The standoff between the man and the last beast.

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Bliss QuestOctober 23, 2016Reply

    First disappointment from Choi Min-sik

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • bhknellerOctober 24, 2016Reply

    One of the best animal stories I have seen…

    This movie was exceptionally done and has a unique, interesting and
    magical story. I really enjoyed it from start to finish and thought
    that it never had any dull moments. The characters were wonderfully
    portrayed and with excellent acting. The tiger was also created
    wonderfully for this story as it was powerful, intelligent but also
    compassionate. This story is truly unique as it has two heroes in it,
    the hunter and the tiger. I found it difficult to not root for both.
    The ending is so amazing and you never see it coming. The CGI is
    excellent and the cinematography is impressive. There isn’t anything in
    this movie I found flaws with. I would highly recommend this movie! One
    of the best ones like it I have seen…

  • Kyra DavisOctober 30, 2016Reply

    Breathtaking film.

    This amazing film tells a deep compelling story, and while it feels
    mostly legend, the graphics and human element are incredibly real.

    It conveys perfectly the struggle and fight withing Korea’s last
    tigers.

    The imagery is the most powerful part of this film, in my humble
    opinion.

    I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen for a moment and I became so
    deeply invested in the caricatures and story.

    I recommend this wholeheartedly, and plan on watching it at least a
    second time myself.

  • andyk-14November 5, 2016Reply

    An entertaining fantasy that is slow and sad with a little gory action

    I was entertained. I will stop watching 10 minutes into a movie if I
    feel it is too boring, cheesy, etc. and I made it to the end of the
    movie. My wife, who normally hates Asian films, got interested halfway
    through and had to watch it to the end. My 8 year old granddaughter
    started watching, unbeknownst to us, and started crying when a
    significant character was killed. Don’t let your young kids watch this
    film; it’s violent and gory in some spots.

    The scenery was nice, the hunting scenes were riveting, and I like the
    story the was slowly revealed about the old hunter and the tiger,
    especially at the end. I think the movie was a little too long and
    slow; not enough to make me stop watching but enough to sometimes fast
    forward to the next scene.

    This is a fantasy film with CGI animals. I feel that the CGI was good
    in most places but sometimes the animals’ movements were obviously
    unreal. However, I feel the same way about some of the action scenes in
    the recent Marvel movies. If you like the Marvel movies combat scenes
    then just think of the tiger and other animals as a Marvel superhero
    and the anonymous CGI bad guys, and you’ll be fine.

    The movie has a cast of interesting characters. I personally did not
    like the main character, the old hunter. I could not sympathize and I
    felt that he brought all his misery on himself. I did, however, relate
    to the old hunter’s son. And my favorite characters were the Mountain
    Lord tiger, the younger scarred hunter who led the hunting hunting
    band, and the scarred hunter’s buddy/sidekick. My suggestion is that if
    you don’t care about the old hunter, which I didn’t, there are other
    characters who are worthy of attention.

  • klusebaNovember 6, 2016Reply

    You will end up rooting for the tiger’s survival

    The epic South Korean blockbuster ”The Tiger: An Old Hunter’s Tale”
    is a mixture of a historical drama and an action-adventure movie. To
    fully understand this movie, you have to be aware of the fact that the
    tiger is a symbol associated with Korean people and their resilience to
    keep their culture, identity and values alive despite the hardships
    this people has gone through and is still going through today. That’s
    why the obsession of the Japanese invaders to exterminate the
    peninsula’s last tiger is related to the fact that if they achieved
    that goal, it would mean that the resistance of the invaded country
    would finally be broken. This context also explains why many Koreans
    despise the Japanese, fear the consequences of the hunt and respect the
    tiger by calling him the Mountain Lord. Still, some of the Korean
    characters want to see the tiger dead as well for many different
    reasons: reputation, revenge and wealth among others. If the tiger were
    to die, it should at least die at the hands of a Korean hunter. The
    movie introduces us to three different groups that end up hunting the
    legendary tiger: Japanese soldiers, Korean hunters and the lonesome
    main character.

    Obviously, this philosophical movie doesn’t only deal with the
    symbolism related to tigers but also touches profound topics such as
    dealing with forgiveness, honor and loss as well as family values. The
    story of the old hunter and the old tiger has a lot of parallels as
    well. The tiger almost seems human in this movie and one can somehow
    identify with the majestic beast. Most people will probably end up
    rooting for the tiger’s survival. In my opinion, it’s quite an
    achievement from the makers of this film to make us feel this way
    without making this movie too melodramatic.

    It also helps that the CGI of the tiger is surprisingly dynamic,
    majestic and realistic. Despite a lot of screening time for the true
    feline hero of this tale, the initial first impression never really
    lets go. In addition to this, the landscapes on and around Mount
    Jirisan are truly impressive. The calm camera shots that never shake
    unnecessarily, the rich classical soundtrack and the contrasting
    lighting techniques add to the atmosphere of the movie.

    I must also point out the numerous fight scenes between the tiger and
    his enemies. In contrast to the movie’s overall rather calm pace, these
    action sequences aren’t only fast and powerful but also quite gory
    without ever getting gratuitous. They make the tiger’s desperate fight
    for survival even more realistic in my book.

    The acting performances are overall quite good. Main actor Choi Min-
    sik is authentic, entertaining and intense as always and proves once
    again that he is at least one of the very best contemporary Asian
    actors. I only thought that the villains of the story could have been a
    little bit more detailed, diversified and present in this film.

    The only other issue I have is the movie’s slow-paced storytelling.
    This film could have been about half an hour shorter and it wouldn’t
    have taken anything away from the character or story development at
    all. Patient fans of Korean cinema are already used to the smooth
    development but those who aren’t familiar with this style might find
    the movie’s introduction somewhat pointless, overlong or even boring
    and they might have a point this time.

    In the end, ”The Tiger: An Old Hunter’s Tale” is an atmospheric, epic
    and sophisticated film that mixes contemporary action sequences with
    slightly patriotic historical fiction and philosophical topics that
    never feel too dry. Fans of Asian cinema will like this release and
    it’s definitely a welcome change to the hollow superhero movies in our
    Western world, so you might as well give this movie a fair try.

  • Ashish NairNovember 18, 2016Reply

    Good story with excellent use of CGI

    First of all it’s very hard to impress me when it comes to CGI movies
    and I hardly like CGI movies but this movie did a great job.The way
    Tiger’s character was used in this film was very good.Its almost real
    and natural.Without a doubt Tiger looked impressive and am sure you
    will love this movie

    This movie is great not only because of CGI but because of story and
    acting.From action moments to emotional moments, this movie did a
    impressive job.

    This movie also reminded me of the movie called ‘Dersu Uzala’.The main
    character from that movie is also kind of same like in this one and it
    was a great movie.

    I have seen and studied Tigers and I would like to share few facts
    about Tigers to you all-

    1. A tiger’s legs are so powerful that they can remain standing even
    when dead 2.Tigers are the largest members of the cat family and are
    renowned for their power and strength. 3.Tigers have antiseptic saliva.
    4.They have an amazing memory. 5.A tiger not only has striped fur but
    its skin is striped too. 6.Tigers live alone and aggressively
    scent-mark large territories (up to 100sq km in size) to keep their
    rivals away. 7.Tigers are good swimmers and often cool off in lakes and
    streams during the heat of the day. 8.One swipe from a Tiger’s front
    paw is strong enough to smash a bear’s skull and even break its
    spine.It will easily take off the man’s face. 9.It is the 2nd largest
    brain of all carnivores, the largest being the brain of a polar bear.
    10.Tigers can tell the age, gender, and reproductive condition of other
    tigers by subtleties in the smell of urine markings. 11.They may be big
    and heavy, but tigers are by no means slow movers. In fact, at full
    speed they can reach up to 65km/h 12. Every tiger in the world is
    unique – no two tigers have the same pattern of stripes. 13.Tigers have
    been known to imitate the call of other animals to successfully attract
    prey. 14.Tigers have the most powerful jaws of all cats.

  • MattApril 28, 2017Reply

    Very good movie, but the story is stolen. Spoiler Alert!

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

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