Ah Boys To Men Part 2
After two weeks of training, Ken and the other recruits are allowed to book out for the first time.[b] A lavish party is thrown by his family to celebrate Ken's return, but his mood is ruined when he is shown a photo of his girlfriend with another man. Ken angrily confronts her and demands that they meet, which she does not initially agree to. She later admits that she has fallen for another man and dumps Ken at a highway. Determined to regain her love, Ken devises a plan to escape from Pulau Tekong as he feels that she is merely testing him. Whilst undergoing military exercises in hot weather, Ken stops drinking water in an attempt to force a heat injury, for which he would be sent home for ten days; he takes the extra measure of sleeping under a ceiling fan after dousing himself in cold water. His condition rapidly deteriorates and he is hospitalised after collapsing during training. Ken's father is alerted of his son's critical condition while in a company meeting. He quickly drives off to the hospital, but the sheer shock and strain causes him to have a stroke while driving and violently collide with another vehicle.
ah boys to men part 2
Ken wakes up in a hospital, surrounded by his two sisters. He realises that his foolish actions have caused problems for many people and cannot bear to face his father, who has survived the car crash and is recuperating in another ward in the same hospital. Awakened to reality, Ken is finally fit enough to go back to training. The film ends at this junction, and snippets of the next part are shown.
The main theme of Ah Boys to Men is conscription in Singapore, a popular topic amongst Singaporeans. In conjunction with the Ministry of Defence's 2012 NS45 campaign, From Fathers to Sons, it is meant to commemorate the 45th anniversary of Singapore's National Service. Emotional issues that recruits experience for a long period of time, such as not being able to be that in touch with relatives are tackled in part one. It also pokes fun into many infamous incidents related to the Singapore Army by parodying these events. Derek Elley of Film Business Asia claims that the driving factor of Ah Boys to Men, National Service, is just a metaphor for the strict life in Singapore. The second part 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".
Research for the film alone took around two and a half months. Neo said the decision to break the film into two parts was made after the distributors told him to keep the films 100 minutes in length, as any longer and it would have been more expensive and difficult to schedule.
As part of preparation for the film, the cast members underwent a two-day Basic Military Training familiarisation course, which was, to one of the stars, Tosh Zhang, "as tough as what we really went through during national service." Filming took place mostly in Pulau Tekong (which is used exclusively as a training base for various Singapore Army units and home to the Basic Military Training Centre), making Ah Boys to Men the first film to have filmed there. The "unpredictable" weather was a problem the crew encountered while filming at Tekong; 35 days were spent filming there. Other filming locations included Robinson Road, which was used for a major war scene and specially sealed off to the public for a day on August 19, 2012 so as to allow the crew to film; it was the first time it was closed for such reason. Neo was warned beforehand that destruction of the road incur fines.
Ah Boys to Men is the first two-part Singaporean film. Ah Boys to Men premiered on November 6, 2012 at the Golden Village Multiplex. It was first commercially released in Singapore on November 8, 2012 and it opened in Malaysian cinemas on December 20, 2012. Discussions with film distributors in Hong Kong and mainland China are ongoing. Both parts one and two will be showcased at the Hong Kong International Film & TV Market from March 18, 2013 to March 21, 2013.
The cast and crew of Ah Boys to Men will be promoting and selling Camou Products, a variety of army-themed merchandise, all of which are made from old decommissioned army apparel. A comic book based on the film's first part, titled Ah Boys to Men 1 and published by Marshall Cavendish, has been released; the artwork was done by James Teo.
Ah Boys to Men has received mixed reviews from critics. Derek Elley of Film Business Asia graded it at 6 out of 10 marks, praising it for its "superior production values" but noting that it "lost momentum" during the second half. Kwok Kar Peng of The New Paper commented on the lengthiness of the film, also expressing his opinion that it seemed like an advertisement for the Singapore Army, but added that it had "its good points". TODAY's Christopher Toh, gave the film 3 out of 5 stars and criticised the over-use of CGI "that makes Doctor Who blush" though he commended the acting skills of the lead cast. Vanessa Tai, also from TODAY, felt that some of the jokes in the film were "sexist" and concluded that it might create a bad impression for the SAF (Singapore Armed Forces). In response, Neo stated that the "sexist" jokes were existent within the Army and were common. Gary Chua, also from TODAY, in response to the review by Tai, voiced out his disagreement. He felt that the film had instead done the SAF proud. F Movie Mag's review took issue with its excessive length, as well as its sense of incompleteness, though it also praised the director, as well as the energetic performance of the actors. Travis Wong of inSing.com gave the movie 2 out of 5 stars, criticising the "obnoxious product placement" and the rehashing of past jokes. Hee En Ming of Fridae dubbed Ah Boys to Men as "possibly the worst boot camp comedy ever", reserving only negative feedback for it. At the National Day Rally 2012, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong complimented Neo on the film. Loong Wai Ting of Malaysia's New Straits Times ranked part one as number 10 on her list of Jack Neo's best movies. Maliki Osman lauded the film (as a whole) "for striking a chord in many Singaporeans, and in the process helping to strengthen Singaporeans' commitment to defence."
Ah Boys to Men grossed S$6.18 million dollars domestically. It earned S$234,000 on its opening day and took the number one spot in its opening weekend, earning S$1,509,422 at the box office. It broke the record for the biggest opening weekend for local productions, a record previously held by Neo's earlier film Ah Long Pte Ltd (S$1.484 million) in 2008, as well as that for the biggest opening-day box-office result for a local film outside of the Chinese New Year season. The first Asian movie to top the Singapore box office since November 2011, it passed the S$5 million mark on November 29, 2012, the second Singaporean film to do so, and at that point of time became Singapore's second-highest-grossing film, overtaking the previous record holder, Money No Enough 2 (2008), which was also directed by Neo. On December 17, 2012, Ah Boys to Men became the highest-grossing Singaporean film, having already taken in S$6.03 million, surpassing Money No Enough (1998), the previous record holder and another work of Neo's. Neo said in response to the milestone: "I've waited 12 years to be able to make a film that can beat Money No Enough. I'm so glad that the day has finally come." Because of that, Neo said that he and the cast will skinny dip, tentatively in the Singapore River, as he had earlier promised. However, not all of the cast were comfortable with the prospect of skinny dipping. Tosh Zhang said he was a bit reluctant to do so, but would go along, seeing that majority would be doing so. The idea was later scrapped; Neo and the cast will instead be taking part in various charity-related events. Online box office revenue tracker Box Office Mojo has listed Ah Boys to Men as the fifth-highest-grossing film of 2012 in Singapore.
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 third instalment, 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 NewsAsia, 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 "we are currently preparing for the shoot". During which he also "officially announced":
A spin-off to the Ah Boys to Men film franchise titled Ah Boys to Men 3: Frogmen was announced by Jack Neo to be scheduled for production in August 2014 based on the story of a group of navy boys.