AAR: Ah Girls Go Army

3 min readFeb 16, 2022

Fall in, for AAR on Ah Girls Go Army (AGGA) movie. Brain dump on Jack Neo’s latest instalment of Ah Boys Go Army (ABTM).

1. It’s A Fictional Universe

So many people up in arms about how it doesn’t accurately reflect what female recruits go through in BMT. Btw, this is NOT a Mindef endorsed film (unlike the past few). In fact, Mindef is keeping this film at arm’s length… Or should I say a pace stick away…

If you want the real deal, Mindef gotchu fam.

2. YouTube vs TikTok

Felt to me like the ABTM cast could act better (not by much, but they were less awkward). My guess is because the original ABTM crew were cast from upcoming YouTube talents. They had more exposure to the lights, camera and action compared to TikTok stars…

But give them the air time and I’m sure they’ll get better at it.

3. Production Quality

How the world did Jack Neo film a movie for the big screen in such a short time? My question was answered when I saw the incoherence of the plot in the theatre. All the right elements of a good show were there, but it felt more like a Frankenstein creation with no room to reshoot scenes that couldn’t make the cut.

I understand. It’s how I feel rushing my essay before the 2359 deadline. At the eleventh hour, I just need something that looks like it could work. This is Jack Neo rushing an essay before 2359.

4. Woke & Cancel Culture

If this movie was filmed in the 90s I don’t think much would have been said on these issues. But we’re living in 2022 so it’s time to catch up with the times.

Touchy topics Jack Neo could have approached with finer finesse:

  • suicide
  • mental health
  • gender stereotypes

The critics have said everything that needed to be said. While critics focused on tearing down the film, it was a missed opportunity to give the most important voices in the show a platform.

I thought this AsiaOne article did Xixi good by asking her how she felt, rather than imposing your own “wokeness” on her situation.

Excerpt from the article… Xixi on her character: She’s never the last when it comes to physical activities, so it shows that plus-sized women can do more than you think we can. Sometimes, we even do it better than regular people,” Xixi shared, adding that she “saw a glimmer of hope in this aspect”.

She added: “I feel that it all depends on how you look at it. My character’s name was meant to be funny but some people think that it’s making fun of my body.

“When I saw that, I thought to myself, even if my character wasn’t called Yuan Yuanyuan, people would still make fun of or comment on my body. I don’t see an issue with the name itself and I do think that it’s one that you can remember easily.”

Instead of being all woke and cancelling the movie, why not give them a platform? If you are a writer, lend her your pen. If you are a filmmaker, give her a role. If you’re a nobody Singaporean like me, give her a follow on Instagram and spread some positivity.

Spend your time and energy empowering them instead of euthanising their dreams.

End of brain dump. Fall out, lights out.




renting this space to rant.