Ah Boys To Men: Part 1

November 12, 2012
By Yun Ting

This new comedy film directed by Singaporean director Jack Neo casts Mr Brown, Irene Ang, Jacky Chin, Richard Low, Roy Loi, Joshua Tan, Tony Koh, Maxi Lim, Wang Wei Liang and Wang Lei. After producing shows which focus on issues such as family and social ills, Jack Neo is set to take on a new challenge with “Ah Boys to Men”, which focuses on the theme of the definitive path for all young men in Singapore’s National Service (NS). This show portrays the funny sides of young men going for NS in modern society. The film also depicts Singapore being attacked by foreign forces and  to show what it would be like if our country was attacked- Jack  does that, even though the result of that ambition was a particularly painstaking and costly one. To get the fifteen minutes worth of footage of our national icons and HDB heartlands under attack cost Jack to run about ten to twenty percent over-budget, and he shares that he might not even have much of a salary to speak of at the end of production. The film is also Singapore’s first military themed film in 10 years, as well as the first movie duology. In addition, it also coincides with the 45th year of NS in Singapore. Attractive features of this film includes its hilarious characters and magnificent special effects including bombings, and such large scale effects are actually all done in Singapore for the first time! In an interview, director Jack Neo revealed that  the most challenging sequence to film was perhaps that of Shenton Way under attack, for which Jack was given only one Sunday to shoot in the middle of Robinson Road. “The authorities were very clear with their conditions – by 6 am the next day, the roads had to be as they were before, and we would have to pay if there were any infrastructural damage” says Jack. “We were also told unequivocally that the only reason we were permission to film there was that our film had a national education message.” With plenty of extras and literally an army of production crew, Jack spent just one day setting up and shooting the scenes of carnage and destruction if enemies were to attack on our prime business district – with his crew working through the night after the shoot to clear away the fake debris and ash scattered all round to create the effect of war. The endeavour was exceptional and quite large-scale according to Jack’s description, but what is clear is Jack’s ambition for the movie.

Watch: Ah Boys To Men: Part One Trailer


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