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Joshua Tan

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Listing created by aikiash on February 15, 2013    

A newcomer to the Singapore acting scene, Joshua Tan is the main lead in the hit movie Ah Boys to Men.



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A good start

Although Tan's mandarin was not spoken fluently in the movie "Ah Boys To Men", it was already a good start for an English-speaking man like him.

Because he was new to me, I thought he had left a rather good impression on me as I saw the good acting skills that he portrayed as the leading role that he played in Jack Neo's movie. Thereafter, he also joined in other productions with co-stars like Felicia Chin and uprising blogger, Andrea Chong.

Indeed, there is room for improvement but his effort and undying passion in acting impressed me.

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Awkward in the start

As the main character of Ah Boys to Men, he was a disappointing fit. While his looks are slightly better looking than the rest of his 'khakis' in the camp, his acting skills don't seem to be up to the mark. He is slightly rigid and the way that he act seems to be more on the 'wooden' side.

While he doesn't strike me as a good actor during the first scene where his acting seems almost exaggerated and forced, it seemed to get better in the second movie where his role required more serious action and less playful moves. Perhaps part of my impression of his acting could have come from his slightly emotionless face in the beginning that made the acting slightly awkward.

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Promising actor but needs to improve on his Mandarin

For a newbie on the big screen, Joshua Tan's acting skills proved to be rather convincing. There were a couple of scenes in the movie which tested his acting chops, such as the frequent outbursts of anger and frustration at the beginning, and in the aftermath of his father's accident. I felt that he managed them pretty well for a newcomer. Furthermore, he is charismatic, good-looking and confident. If anything, he is one of the actors who looks good enough to make up for any shortcomings in his acting and lackluster Mandarin/Hokkien. It is a pity that he did not speak much Hokkien in the show, a language that is frequently used in the army. That would have made his character much more relatable. Perhaps, his poor Mandarin/Hokkien led director Jack Neo to portray him as a rich man's son instead of an average Singaporean boy. Despite being the main protagonist of the movie, he seems to have attracted less media attention compared to his fellow recruit actors who played Sergeant Ong and 'Lobang King'.

Nonetheless, many channel 8 artistes have proven that Mandarin can be improved. Given his caliber and looks, he seems to have much potential. I believe Joshua Tan is one promising actor in the local scene to watch!

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(Updated: April 02, 2013)

Fresh face

Ah Boys to Men? Absolute zero interest. Till I saw him featured in an interview regarding that movie.

This fresh face actor is definitely for keeps. His eyes radiates a warmth like no other. He smiled at the camera exuded alongst a charm that dripped with sincerity. I was smitten. There isn't even the need for subtitles. He flaunted a superb fluent string of sentences in English. I was impressed. The way he articulate, his accent, struck a foreign chord. I furiously enquired my peers.

Apparently, he was born and bred in Australia. Is that true? I googled it to no avail. Hence, Mediacorp, do keep him. It'll make googling him much easier and simultaneously boosting his fame aplenty.

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New actor, promising career.

It's almost impossible to not know Joshua Tan unless you've been living under a rock or simply have ignored the two Ah Boys To Men films. He is the actor who plays Ken Chow, the main character of the film series.

Looks, talent, personality; Joshua has it all. I did find his acting a little inconsistent throughout the film, but I think that with more experience, he can definitely make it far in his career. In real life, he also seems pretty friendly and down to earth, from what I see in interviews and his social networking, so that adds as another plus point for him.

Well, with the ABTM franchise still alive and kicking (with a confirmed third movie in the progress), he definitely won't be forgotten soon enough. All that said, I think that if Joshua never got a chance to join the ABTM cast, he might not be as well known as he is, say he did get an acting career in Singapore. He really is very lucky to be a part of this.

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Why choose him?

If I really needed to find an actor to criticise in the show, it will definitely be Joshua Tan. Although, there were a lot more actresses that can be criticised like his twin sisters, his girl friend and Ah Mah. I had always heard comments that a good actor can bring out good acting from those actors or actresses he worked with. He had a few screens with these poor actresses, that may be why his acting was not that good.

For argument sake, he also had a lot of screens with other good actors so why was his acting still so bad? Won't those good actors bring out good acting from him if he really has good acting skills? Anyway, it was only his first movie and this being such a high profile movie, he would definitely be scrutinised. He just need to improve and prove his critics wrong in his future performance.

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ambitious role

I was amazed at the acting skills of the main leads of Ah Boys To Men considering it was their first film and the painful fact that generally Singapore's actors CMI... Being placed next to outstanding actors like Lobang King (Wang Wei Liang) and Aloysius Jin (Maxi Lim), Ken Chow (Joshua Tan) was nothing more than mediocre. It's unfair to him as a amateur actor, you'd say, but I feel that I have selected a fair basis of comparison, (with another amateurs) and his lack of ability is too noticeable as a main lead. If he was a regular bunk mate I would have no qualms in saying "what a good-looking calefare" he is but acting wise, no.

Being an avid fan of the cast, I was more disappointed to find out that he was able to relate to the script being an unwilling foreigner serving NS because there was simply no feelings injected in his acting. It felt very superficial and"trying too hard" like most other actors in local drama. Does anyone else gets annoyed when he tries to pronounce local terms with his strong accent? The management have to take some blame for allocating the wrong person to the role, because I would've enjoyed it more if the main lead was a typical complain king acted by a true blue local. Joshua would've excelled if he was assigned as an ABC (American/Australian Born Chinese) bunk mate especially with his charming charisma (in English) masked by broken Chinese.

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Overshadowed.

Despite being the lead in Ah Boys to Men, I think Joshua has been overshadowed by the supporting cast. I found no fault with his acting and believe it was a noble effort for a first timer.

Perhaps the reason for his being overshadowed was that his character was not unique enough. He acted as the spoiled rich kid most guys in army sneer at. In contrast, the supporting casts all had roles which every army guy can relate. The sarcastic sergeant, the wayang king, the chao keng ah beng with out of the box ideas, even the sissy recruit. So perhaps, he does not garner the lead's share of the limelight because the average Singaporean man relates to the other character better.

His performance in the movie aside, he is probably the only one with "model" looks should garner him a large female following.

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