© 2020 All-Rights Reserved Weekender Group Pte Ltd

Ah Boys to Lion Men: A New Twist from Jack Neo?

Will these Ah Boys make it as Lion Men?
Will these Ah Boys make it as Lion Men?
Will these Ah Boys make it as Lion Men?

Starring Ah Boys to Men actors, this new local film has two lion dance teams facing off in a fusion of hip hop and lion dance

Who would’ve THOUGHT that fusing hip hop and traditional lion dance could result in the rivalry of two lion dance troupes, producing dance offs and much drama?

The Lion Men, by local director Jack Neo, is a modern lion dance battle story.

Shi Shen (Tosh Zhang, famous for Ah Boys to Men) is the top performer in the Tiger Crane Lion Dance Association but feels restricted by Master He’s traditional mind-set. He decides to lead a group of disciples to form his own lion dance troupe, that fuses hip hop dancing with lion dance movements.

A major Lion Dance Competition is coming up and Mikey (Wang Weiliang, also from Ah Boys to Men) is groomed to be Shi Shen’s successor. However, Mikey has a huge fear of heights! You can imagine what an obstacle that would be to his prospects.

As fate would have it, the situation is further worsened as both Mikey and Shi Shen fall for the Tiger Crane master’s daughter, played by Eva Cheng.

A New Wave

The Lion Men is the latest film by popular local director Jack Neo, who is still fresh from his success with Ah Boys to Men.
“In this movie, I’ve added creative new moves to give lion dance a fresh perspective,” he said of his new film.

Playing Master He is Chen Tianwen, the popular Channel 8 actor who recently starred in the multi-award winning hit, Ilo Ilo. In The Lion Men, his character is hard-headed and resistant to change.

As such, some of his students eventually break away from his tight-fisted regime and form a rival lion dance troupe that incorporates hip hop.

With rivalry between both sides in both competition and in love, there promises to be lots of drama and action.

Refreshing Ideas

Neo has always wondered about and marvelled at the skill that these lion dancers have.

“How heavy is the lion’s head? How do they manoeuvre the tail and, more importantly, how do they execute the Mei Hua Zhuang pillar demonstration so smoothly?” Neo pondered.

He continued, “Lion dance today has shed its association with traditional religious practices. It’s now an engaging extracurricular activity (in some schools) that requires strength, endurance, and perseverance.”

Nail-Biting Stunts

A number of actors from the relatively young cast were last seen in Ah Boys to Men, another Jack Neo film. They bring their youthful energy to the film with stunts and choreography so vigorous that the director would “pray for everyone’s safety” while filming those sequences.

Neo adds, “Although some of the moves and choreography are raw, it provides the space and opportunity for lion dance professionals to smoothen out the rough edges and strive for fresh and innovative forms.”

If you liked Ah Boys to Men or like lion dance, you might find this movie entertaining.

The Lion Men [PG]

Director: Jack Neo
Starring: Chen Tian Wen, Wang Weiliang, Tosh Zhang and Noah Yap
Genre: Drama / Comedy
Run Length: 130 min
Release: Jan 30