8th February 2013.
Just a week after catching Ah Boys to Men Part 1, I was back in the cinemas (after 2-3 years?) to catch its sequel, Ah Boys to Men 2 with a group of my buddies back in BMTC. Coincidentally, it was on our ORD date, 8th of February. Looking back, it has been 3 years since we left Tekong.
Thankfully, this time round, the film spared us from any over-the-top battles in the beginning and jump right straight to where the previous film ended (not before a short re-cap of course). The sequel covers the remaining part of the Basic Military Training together with the limelight given to the entire section rather than Ken Chow alone, the once immature boy.
As expected from any Jack Neo’s films, Ah Boys to Men 2 is a local film made for the people in Singapore. So, expect the familiar mish-mash of English, Hokkien, Tamil, Malay….Singlish, local jokes and a number of satirical jokes about Singapore here and there. Hence for the foreign audience, I think you might expect to be amused or bemused throughout the duration of the film. Nonetheless, it would still provide a light-hearted glimpse into National Service in Singapore.
Is Ah Boys to Men 2 (and 1), propaganda? Honestly, I think that is a very shallow assessment of the film. While the national education messages are ever present here and there like “defend Singapore” or “Army turns you from boys to men” (it’s a film endorsed by Mindef, what are you expecting?), I think Jack Neo has done a decent job of balancing both the good and bad about National Service for this film.
Music wise, I think Tosh Zhang has proven himself again as a capable composer and singer for the sequel. If you are aware, I am not a fan of pop music, rap etc but his music for both films struck a chord in me. Honestly, looking at lyrics alone, I thought this was pretty good. And here is the theme song for the sequel written and performed by him and some members of the cast.
I am not sure if this is a “family-friendly film”, while it is generally comedy with a bit of drama, parents should take note that they should be expecting some very strong language and sexual themes in the film (not uncommon in the army actually).
All in all, I found myself enjoying the sequel more than part 1, while Jack Neo’s trademark over-the-top tendencies and obsession with computer graphics are still there, the film as a whole worked for me. It has successfully brought back the fond memories of our time in BMT and BMTC for my army kakis and I. A fellow commander very nicely sum it up with his comment at the end of the film: “it was as if we just booked out.”
So, if you could, do watch Ah Boys to Men 2 (I recommend watching part 1 as well if you could). Yes it might not be your Avatar, Lord of the Rings or Titanic but for a local film, this is rather decent. For those who have served National Service, you should catch it. Here are some cartoons that I have drawn:
Once in a while, nearing the end of BMT, funny things tend to happen.
One of my platoon mate shared his secret to shiny boots:
Maid, Kiwi and Korean Drama.
At times, a fifth platoon was formed with :
Ex U/L, Ex L/L, Ex RMJ, A/B, Ex Grass, Ex Sunlight etc.
The film certainly did not exaggerate about area cleaning, our encik go high and low for dust.
SOC was different in the past.
At the end of the day, everyone is just looking forward to booking out.
Safe and sound.
Photographs from : Ah Boys to Men & GV Facebook, sgnewwave.com