Ah Boys to Men 2
|Ah Boys to Men 2|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jack Neo|
|Produced by||Jack Neo
|Written by||Jack Neo
Wang Wei Liang
|Music by||Tosh Zhang|
|Edited by||Yim Mun Chong|
|Distributed by||Golden Village Pictures
|Running time||113 minutes|
|Budget||S$3 million ($2.45 million; shared with part two)|
|Box office||S$7,900,000 (US$6,230,000)|
Ah Boys to Men 2 (simplified Chinese: 新兵正传II; traditional Chinese: 新兵正傳II; pinyin: xīnbīng zhèngzhuàn II; literally: "Recruits' True Biography") is a 2013 Singaporean comedy film produced and directed by Jack Neo, written by Neo, Lim Teck and Leonard Lai. It is the second of two cinematic parts. It was released on February 1, 2013. It is the highest-grossing Singaporean film of all time, and has grossed over four times of its S$3 million budget. A spin-off to the Ah Boys to Men movie franchise titled Ah Boys to Frogmen was announced by Jack Neo to be scheduled for production in August 2014 based on the story of a group of navy boys.
Ken is quick to adopt a change in personality by becoming an "on-the-ball" recruit, even more so than "Wayang King" Aloysius. Differing viewpoints sour the friendship between Ken and Lobang. Meanwhile, Ken's father has become partially paralyzed because of his stroke but is determined to make a recovery. After booking out, Aloysius seeks advice from his parents as he feels excluded from the group; his father (Chen Tianwen) tells him the best solution is not to do anything. Back at Tekong, Recruit IP Man learns about "Real Bullet" Zhen Zidan (Benjamin Mok), an "Ah Beng" who stole his girlfriend Mayoki (Sherraine Low). IP Man hits back by criticizing Mayoki for her inferior qualities. "Real Bullet" in turn uploads a video of him and Mayoki engaging in an initimate act. Crestfallen, IP Man seeks help from his bunk mates; Lobang plots a scheme to ambush "Real Bullet" and Mayoki at a car-park by throwing heaps of human excretion mixed with chilli and wasabi at them while they are in the car. However, a gang soon chases after them after "Real Bullet" calls for back-up, but at last the recruits manage to shake the gang off; they celebrate at a restaurant at White Sands later that evening. However, at the restaurant, they are ambushed by more gang members, who have managed to track them down. Ken runs back to save his mates, per the principle "Leave no man behind", unlike Aloyisus, who is quick to flee. Because Ken saved his life, Lobang vows to stop smoking in return.
After an investigation by the sergeants, Ken and the perpetrators of the earlier scheme carried out that day are punished. Ken's concerned parents speak to CPT Tham after learning of what had happened. His father has shown visible signs of improvement and is starting to be able to talk, thanks the OC for training Ken to become a "real soldier", but is against him being punished for fighting. The OC agrees to make an exception and exclude Ken from punishment. Ken, though, after learning that the others still would be punished, is granted permission to continue his punishment. The next day, Lobang attempts to sabotage Aloysius for abandoning the team earlier on by throwing his magazine but after a comical turn of events, it is Lobang who loses his magazine. However, Aloysius quickly gives his magazine to Lobang during an equipment check and takes the blame. While searching for the missing magazine, the relationship between the two grow better.
The eccentric Lieutenant S.T. Choong (mrbrown) is chased by a large herd of wild boars halfway into an assessment for leadership potential; the soldiers are quick to come to his rescue. Following their passing out parade, the recruits reunite with their kins. Ken's father is present and comes to greet Ken; he is finally able to walk steadily without any aid. As the film ends, various recruits' postings are shown — only Lobang and Ken have made it to Officer Cadet School (OCS).
- Joshua Tan as Ken Chow
- Maxi Lim as Aloysius Jin a.k.a "Wayang King"
- Wang Wei Liang as Bang "Lobang" Lee Onn
- Noah Yap as Man In Ping a.k.a IP Man
- Ridhwan Azman as Ismail Mohammed
- Aizuddin Nasser as Muthu Shanmugaratnam
- Richard Low as Ken's father
- Irene Ang as Mary Chow, Ken's mother
- Wang Lei as Ken's uncle
- Tony Koh Beng Hoe as Ken's second uncle
- Yoo Ah Min as Ken's grandmother
- Tosh Zhang as Sergeant Alex Ong
- Lee Kin Mun, better known as mrbrown, as Lieutenant S T Choong:
- An army officer. It is his first film role. For the role, he was made to go through "physical torture". At a press conference for part two, Lee said: "It was three days of physical torture. I ran about more during the filming than in my entire army life!" Neo has said that there may be more future collaborations between Lee and himself.
- Luke Lee as Sergeant Jed Heng,
- Fish Chaar as Officer Commanding,
- Alvin Richard as Sergeant Kenneth Pang 
- Ryan Chioh, Douglas Foo, Lawrence Kim, Jaz Lai and Bennett Neo as army reservists
- Chen Tianwen as Aloysius' father,
- Benjamin Mok as gangster Zhen Zi Dan (literally "Real Bullet")
- Bernie Utchenik as a medical doctor, Chan Ka Wai as 1970's Army "Geng King" (appears only in flashback)
- Ye Li Mei as Aloysius' mother,
- Justin Dominic Mission as a 1970's army sergeant,
- Qiu Qiu as Ken Chow's teenage girlfriend Amy,
- Sherraine Low as IP Man's girlfriend Mayoki
- Wilson Ng as Sergeant Major 
- Jack Neo as himself (footage on set).
Ah Boys to Men 2 focuses more on the unity of the protagonists, as well as tapping more on hot social topics like foreign talent in Singapore. It gave "a stronger story than its predecessor", and had a "more meaty" drama aspect, according to Jack Neo. Other themes for part two include "[...] sacrifice, love, family and patriotism".
The official theme song of Ah Boys to Men 2, titled "Brothers", was written, composed and performed by Tosh Rock Zhang, a YouTube personality who is part of the cast in the film. An official music video was uploaded on YouTube on January 24, 2013.
The trailer for part two was showcased at the Asia TV Forum & Market and ScreenSingapore 2012 from December 4, 2012 to December 7, 2012. Within a week of its upload online, the trailer had already amassed approximately 20 million views.
Earlier reports gave the release date for the full film as January 31, 2013 and February 7, 2013. However, the official commercial release date for part two in Singaporean cinemas was later confirmed as February 1, 2013.
Ah Boys to Men 2 premiered on January 30, 2013, two days before its commercial release, at the Festive Grand Theatre at Resorts World Sentosa – the first local film to do so. It was released in Malaysian cinemas on March 14, 2013.
Ah Boys to Men 2 garnered mixed reviews from critics, similar to its predecessor. In contrast to his review for part one, in which he called it a "misfire", Travis Wong of insing.com called part two a "perfect salute" and gave it 2 stars out of 5. Mervin Tay of The New Paper said, among other things, that the second part "has the usual trappings of a Jack Neo movie, but with a context that will resonate with anyone who has been through national service, a rite of passage for all male Singaporeans and their families." TODAY's Christopher Toh wrote that it "isn't all bad but lacks a big payoff" and gave it 3 stars out of 5. Gabriel Chong of Movie Exclusive gave it 3.5 stars. She said that it was not "a perfect movie by any measure", but that it "still manages to tap onto the perfectly relatable and uniquely Singaporean experience of BMT for a moving portrayal of the bond of brotherhood forged through that unforgettable rite of passage." Writing for F Movie Mag was Shawne Wang, who gave it a negative review of 1.5 stars out of a possible 5. She labelled it a "misfire in practically every way". Dylan Tan of The Business Times felt that there was no improvement in the plot and it was the "same old drill". A Time Out Singapore reviewer commented that the film was "wrapped up in a heart-warming message". Channel News Asia called it an "enjoyable film with problems", giving a score of 3 out of 5 stars and citing the heavy product placement and over-emphasis on details as some of the situations that needed improvement.
Neo has anticipated that the second part would "do much better than the first one" and has also announced his consideration to produce more army-themed films. At a press conference for part two of Ah Boys to Men, Neo said: "I anticipate that Part 2 will do much better than the first one and I hope that we will hit S$7 million this time."
Part two out-grossed part one in terms of opening weekend earnings; it earned S$1.51 million in its opening weekend, thus breaking the record for the highest box office earnings for local productions, which was previously set by part one in 2012. It took in S$2.7 million over the Chinese New Year weekend period; on February 20, 2013, part two of Ah Boys to Men overtook part one in box office takings by grossing S$6.297 million and becoming the highest-grossing Singaporean film. As of February 26, 2013, part two has grossed S$7.08 million. The film's overwhelming success has been seen as a "gift from Heaven" by Neo.
The project had originally been envisaged as just two parts until after the release of the second part. Buoyed by "non-stop" requests for a threequel, Jack Neo confirmed on February 20, 2013 that he had begun working on one under the working title Ah Boys to Men 3, though actual filming would only take place after 2013. Neo posted on his Twitter account (in Chinese):
Many people asked, because of the tremendous success of the first two parts, would there be a part three? To be honest, we did not intend on making one then. But after the release of the second episode, everyone kept asking for 'part 3 part 3' non-stop; this support has made me really touched. Given this, I would like to announce that we have decided to produce Ah Boys to Men 3, and we would like your suggestions.
In a later interview with Channel News Asia, Neo admitted that "I have been really reluctant to tell people that I'll be working on a third film, because I know people's expectations will only get higher after the first two." Neo said that he was still pondering on the storyline and also needed time for research. At a promotional tour in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for part two, Neo announced that possible cast for part three included Henry Thia and Mark Lee and that "[w]e are currently preparing for the shoot". During which he also "officially announced":
Many people especially the media are asking me about making another instalment for "Ah Boys To Men". Now I officially announce that we will bring you episode three for the movie.
- Frater, Patrick (November 12, 2012). "Neo's army comedy shoots down Bond". Film Business Asia. Retrieved November 13, 2012.
- Han, Wei Chou (February 26, 2013). ""Ah Boys to Men 2" makes Singapore Top 10 highest-grossing films list". Channel News Asia. Retrieved February 26, 2013.
- Shackleton, Liz (March 21, 2012). "Singapore’s Clover Films sets six-picture slate". Screen Daily. Retrieved March 21, 2013.
- Hsia, Heidi. "Jack Neo prepares Ah Boys to Frogmen". Yahoo News. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
- "I am Calefeh in Ah Boys to Men 2". February 1, 2013. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
- Sherlyn Quek (July 19, 2012). "Growing up from "Ah Boys" to men". Ministry of Defence, Singapore. Retrieved November 2, 2012.
- "<Ah Boys to Men 2> Movie Behind the Scenes" (in English). 2013. E City.
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- "Showing off comedic chops". AsiaOne. February 4, 2013. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
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- Chan, Boon (December 6, 2012). "Local films promoted to foreign buyers at Sneak Peeks showcase". The Straits Times. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
- Chan, Boon (November 22, 2012). "Chow Yun Fat, Sophie Marceau set for ScreenSingapore red carpet". The Straits Times. Retrieved November 22, 2012.
- "Asia TV Forum, ScreenSingapore to showcase 13 new films, new converged TV formats". Channel News Asia. November 22, 2012. Retrieved November 23, 2012.
- "梁爷怕星爷？ 《新兵》下集提前一周推出". Zaobao (in Chinese). January 5, 2013. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
- Wai Yee, Yip (December 21, 2012). "Ah Boys make big bucks". The Straits Times. Retrieved December 21, 2012.
- Kar Peng, Kwok (November 9, 2012). "Jack Neo reminisces about army life". AsiaOne. Retrieved November 21, 2012.
- "新兵正傳成本不比好萊塢 梁智強：能做的有限". China Press. October 16, 2012. Retrieved November 3, 2012.
- Chan, Boon (January 11, 2013). "Men among superheroes". AsiaOne. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
- ""AH BOYS TO MEN 2" to be the first local title to premiere at FESTIVE GRAND THEATRE in Resorts World". Movie Exclusive. Retrieved February 4, 2013.
- "AH BOYS TO MEN 2". Golden Screen Cinemas. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
- "Jack Neo confirms "Ah Boys 3"". Yahoo!. March 7, 2013. Retrieved March 8, 2013.
- Wong, Travis (February 1, 2013). "‘Ah Boys to Men Part 2’: A perfect salute". insing.com. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
- Tay, Mervin (February 2, 2013). "Movie review: Ah Boys to Men 2 (PG13)". AsiaOne. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
- Toh, Christopher (January 30, 2013). "Review: Ah Boys To Men Part 2 (PG13, 113min)". TODAY. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
- Chong, Gabriel. "AH BOYS TO MEN 2 (新兵正传II) (2013)". Movie Exclusive. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
- Wang, Shawne. "Ah Boys To Men Part 2 (新兵正传 II) - Review". F***. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
- Tan, Dylan (February 1, 2013). "Same old drill in Ah Boys to Men II". The Business Times. Retrieved February 3, 2013. (subscription required)
- "Ah Boys to Men: Part 2". Time Out. February 4, 2013. Retrieved February 6, 2013.
- Chan, Haley (January 31, 2013). "Neo: Ah Boys Part 2 may break record". AsiaOne. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
- Buzzing. "Ah Boys to Men 2 Scores Record Opening". The Straits Times. February 5, 2013. p. C16.
- "Ah Boys to Men II Rakes in $2.7M over weekend". AsiaOne. February 16, 2013. Retrieved February 16, 2013.
- Chan, Boon (February 19, 2013). "Ah Boys To Men 2 marches to the top of the box office over Chinese New Year". The Straits Times. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
- Chan, Boon (February 22, 2013). "Ah Boys are box-office champs". AsiaOne. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Yip, Wai Yee (February 20, 2013). "Ah Boys To Men 2 is now Singapore's No. 1 local box-office champ of all time". The Straits Times. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
- Yip, Wai Yee (February 20, 2013). "Ah Boys To Men Part 3?". The Straits Times. Retrieved February 22, 2013.
- Tan, Jeanette (February 21, 2013). "Jack Neo confirms plans for ‘Ah Boys to Men’ Part 3". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
- "《新兵正传》 将拍第三集". Zaobao (in Chinese). February 21, 2013. Retrieved February 23, 2013.
- "Jack Neo (@jackneojackneo)". Twitter. Retrieved February 21, 2013. "很多人一直在问，两部新兵大受欢迎后，会有新兵3吗,说真的,原本是没打算，可是第二集后，大家不断要求 part3 part3,如此强大的支持力量，让我真的很感动，在此，我郑重宣布，我们决定制作新兵正传3...也希望你们有所建议。"
- Chai, Peter (March 7, 2013). "Jack Neo confirms "Ah Boys 3"". Cinema Online. Retrieved March 8, 2013.
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|Quotations from Wikiquote|
|Database entry Q858038 on Wikidata|
|Images of the cast in Ah Boys to Men|