Movie Review The Tiger’s Apprentice

The Tiger's Apprentice
The Tiger’s Apprentice
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The Tiger’s Apprentice, launching on Paramount+ on February 2nd, is a good step forward in terms of bringing Chinese mythology to wider audiences. However, it is quite a pity that we think the movie –– which we would suggest strictly because of its entertaining voice cast, regardless of anything else in the script—serves as an enjoyment for the young ones and seems unlikely to be anything better than second-class since there exists some real boundary-pushing animation.

Does ‘The Tiger’s Apprentice’ Earn its Stripes?

This has been around in development for so long and was handed off from one filmmaker to another for changes or additions that you begin to wonder whether something went missing. It could have gone down as a theatrical release before debuting directly on streaming platforms.

Much less negative energy about these movies now when there are great shows and movies available through streaming services; however, it is difficult to argue that this finished product doesn’t seem like “theatrical release.” The animation here gets jerky particularly with human characters (one scene, though meant as his vision looks more beautiful) while the storyline is simply another regurgitated rendition with no innovative aspect.

‘The Tiger’s Apprentice’: Script and Direction

Perhaps the biggest problem with ‘The Tiger’s Apprentice’ lies within its structure itself. Nonetheless, some stories are repeated countless times because they work well, but this time round you can strongly feel that placing genuine ethnic details over an extremely basic skeleton just does not hide the seen-it-before factor at its heart.

Based on Laurence Yep’s YA novel which was adapted by David Magee (an Oscar nominee for his work on ‘Life of Pi’) and Christopher Yost (a Marvel stalwart who probably put most of those quips into this), there are flashes of brilliance in the screenplay but it never manages to shake off feeling like you are watching take number 534 of material covered better elsewhere such as ‘Harry Potter’, ‘Percy Jackson’ and many other examples out there.

The younger audience, of course, won’t care much about that, seeing the colorful, funny characters and the stakes rising. Nevertheless, anyone who has seen a movie like this can create a mental checklist that will tick off soon –– wise mentor (in this case his grandmother who dies because of the main antagonist), surly new guide, the wide-eyed kid who had no idea he had magic powers, comic side kick, noble sidekick, a baddie with one all-purpose plan to obliterate humanity from the face of the earth and reign over a world of darkness thereafter, etc.

The directors Raman Hui, Yong Duk Jhun, and Paul Watling do manage to ground the movie in Chinese zodiac beliefs and give it a genuine San Francisco feeling (although they sometimes fall into generic traps like Tom attending “San Francisco High School”). As we said before, the animation style is dull rather than extraordinary. These days you long for a lot of movies to be upped as far as what they try (that’s why we enjoyed ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem’).

‘The Tiger’s Apprentice’: Performances

If there’s one thing that saves this show, it must be the voice cast’s attractive performance. Nevertheless, she does bring some weight to an underwritten villain role.

As Tom who learns he has a magical heritage, Brendan Soo Hoo is a charming character who plays off well against the other members of the cast. Meanwhile, Hu (Henry Golding) is stuck with playing the grouchy-yet-heroic standard character trope of The Tiger that takes Tom under his arm –– oh no paw? –– when his grandmother sacrifices her life for him.

‘The Tiger’s Apprentice’: Final Thoughts

This is one for kids and will not encourage any adults to have faith in ‘The tiger’s apprentice’. It is an animated adventure with mild distraction value but whose common tropes and storylines at its core are plain even under its new attire. ‘The Tiger’s Apprentice’ gets 6.5 out of 10 stars.

Read The Tiger’s Apprentice on Fmovies

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