Jack Neo's first military film which shows Singapore at war and boys becoming men through National Service.
Ah BOYs to MEN Part 1
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Ah Boys To Men 1 is a film depicting the lives of Singaporean National Service men. It follows the arduous trainings of the boys, reflects their emotions and yearning to be home as well as show how they mature while serving the nation.
Being an extremely relatable film to almost half our population, Ah Boys to Men is one of the highest grossing films in Singapore box office. Its popularity is so astounding that sequels to the movie (parts 2 and 3) have been filmed and screened.
After watching the movie, I gained more reverence for the NS boys around me. But my biggest takeaway was… thank god I’m a girl! NO NS FOR ME!!!
After watching this movie and seeing what guys actually have to go through during National Service, I thank my lucky stars that I can experience it from the comfort of a screen and nowhere else.
Although the movie focuses on the men in NS, I still feel that both girls and guys would be able to enjoy it because of the witty local humour. The hokkien and typically Singaporean references were very on point and entertaining too! Showcasing what happens to couples when guys go for NS is also something that I'm sure many can relate to.
The movie came at a perfect time because my older brother was just about to enlist and I guess some additional mental preparation did him good.
When I saw the trailer, I was really excited for it because I have a brother who's in NS now and I thought I could FINALLY see what it's like. Don't get me wrong, I really liked Army Daze too. But, I felt that this movie painted a closer picture to what NS is like.
I think the cast did a decent job acting but of course, I don't expect much from local actors/actresses. I guess they performed well because they could relate to their roles more than in Lion Men (yes I've watched that too).
Some of my friends cried watching this movie but I don't think it really compares to the I Not Stupid series (I bawled my eyes out). But, it's a cool movie about NS. I'll give it that.
Ah Boys to Men is a Singapore based movie which depicts a life of a guy in army. For females who watched this movie, I felt that this movie is a quick insider to army life. While for the males, it’s a sneak peek for some and for others, a relief of the good old memories.
Overall I feel that Ah Boys to Men is quite a comedic film filled with local humor. If you do not understand the dialects spoken in the show, there were English subtitles provided to help you.
A few downsides which I have noticed about the movie would be the corny introduction and the amateur story line. Apart from that, I would say this movie is quite appealing especially for Singapore residents.
I think that I was so shocked at the gratuitous violence against women and children in the opening scenes that it spoiled me for what good there might have been in the subsequent story. The sight of the Flyer disintegrating or Robinson Road being pounded to dust by enemies from some unknown state: this was unnecessary. It did not segue to the story which followed, albeit a story of army training. The fact that the opening carnage ended up being a video game did nothing to assuage my disgust.
Years ago parents worried about the bad effects war movies had on children. It was nothing compared to the impact of video games. We all know that soldiers exist to fight wars. Those that actually fight them know how unspeakably evil war is.
Meanwhile, in this film we have to put up with the sort of mediocre acting that is probably what it is (bad) as it is limited by the quality of the script. Did I miss the nuance of the multi lingual script? That could be part of it. But I have watched many foreign language fils where I was all at sea as far as appreciating the script was concerned but absolutely riveted by the quality of the imagery and the film making itself. You can tell, even in a film you don't understand, whether actors are good, or whether a film is good.
In this one, you can tell it as well.
Seriously, I cannot understand why so many people think this film is so good. I certainly do not. Will I watch the sequel? I hope not.
The first movie that showcased the possibility of war in Singapore has caught my attention from the very beginning. It was a relief knowing that it was only a stimulation game, but in short, Singaporeans should not take our peaceful state for granted. From there on, the rest of the movie depicted the different stages of NS that all male citizens have gone/will go through, which I believe tugged at the heartstrings of plenty, especially the Singaporean men. The very local and amusing dialogue had me doubled over with laughter. The movie was real, yet somewhat exaggerated (I double checked with my guy friends!) but was good in providing a perspective of a life that us girls can never get (not that we want to, but still). Overall, albeit some cheesy parts of the script, it was enjoyable.
For the first ten mins of the movie, I was totally bored out and was a bit annoyed at the loud audio of explosions. I was really disappointed as these scenes lasted really long, which made me thought that the whole movie will be about war and explosions.
Luckily, that wasn't the main part of the movie. Once the main story comes in, it becomes really entertaining and hilarious. You could hear the audience breaking into laughter every few mins. Despite being a comedy, I think that the show is really reflective (from stories I heard from my friends) and informative about the actual life of a NSmen.
And as we would expect from Jack Neo's film, many controversial real life events are also brought up in the film. I personally feel that some of the stories might be a bit exaggerating (in the way the stories are linked) , and it might be a little sensitive to some audience who are actually related to the real life events and have lost their loved ones.
Overall, Jack Neo's films are always hilarious and often set people into thinking, which is good.
For this particular film, I think it succeeds as a comedy and has quite a bit of educational substance. I would certainly look forward to part 2 of the movie :)
This show, albeit having a little dialect, and being a little exaggerated, is really hilarious. But at the same time it showcased how the Singapore Army works to all Singaporeans. It brings in the real case scenario of Singaporeans being too reliant on their domestic workers and new army boys wanting to "geng" their way through, which brought about the funny factor.
It also brings in a possible scenario of a few new army boys of different character coming together to share a bunk, and having to accommodate each other. They were mostly reluctant to go into army at first, but later got used to it. Through their hardships, brotherhood was formed between them. This movie also made me more confident in Singapore's defence force.
My girlfriend has always held much curiosity and interest in army life and I am sure for many cases besides my own, the movie has provided a much awaited platform for all men who have experienced what it is like to don the much privileged and highly discussed Singapore Armed Forces uniform.
Many of the scenes were exaggerated but were definitely derived from real life situations and consequences every recruit faces in his primary phase of army life.
I particularly loved it when Recruit Ken Chow was in thought, questioning "why can't my sergeant hear our echoes, are all commanders on Pulau Tekong deaf?"
However, a majority of the audience was left dissatisfied with the opening few scenes which heavily depicted Singapore under attack from an unknown enemy. The CGI was over the top yet poor and this is surprising since Singapore has slowly become a hub for digital animation productions such as Lucasfilm. I understood the essence of the scenes but was left amused by its artificialness.
Nevertheless, the show was enjoyable and the local humor was more than generous and I would definitely encourage all Singaporeans to catch while they still can.
Maybe too many people have gushed to me about this movie and that's why I watched it with the hope that 'Ah Boys to Men' would be as good as 'I not Stupid'. However, not only was it far worse, to me it was on par with 'We not Naughty'. I don't understand why this show got such great reviews.
The jokes were funny and the castings were good as everyone suited their roles very well, but the ending was bad and the main plot was about Ken and his girlfriend? That was the gist I got... In fact, the introduction was pretty lame too. However, I will definitely watch part 2 because from the trailer, it looks way more exciting than part 1.
I really hope that part 2 will not be as disappointing as part 1. I still believe in Jack Neo. I know that he is a great director and I wish him all the best.