The film is based on Michael Chiang’s book and stage play ‘Army Daze’ about the misadventures of five young men going through their Basic Military Training. The play made local history by having eighteen sell-out shows in 1985 and has since been brought back for two equally successful runs.
Army Daze (The Film) is an all-Singapore comedy about five recruits undergoing Basic Military Training. Having come from different walks of life, the five boys have their own fears and insecurities. Through a series of shared experiences, they learn to accept their differences and become friends. The story is seen through the eyes of one of the recruits, Malcolm Png, the middle-class mummy’s boy. His newfound mates include Ah Beng, the street-wise HDB boy; Krishna, the ‘twang king’ perpetually pining for his girlfriend Lathi; the lim-wristed Kenny; and Johari, the happy-go-lucky guy who wants to be Rambo.
Leaving behind the comforts of home, they adjust to their new surroundings – and haircuts – with comic results. They tumble their way through various training exercises, from morning PT to field camp, while various friends and family look on in wonder. Posted to Platoon 4 of Hotel Company, the five eighteen-year-olds get their dose of army wisdom from mentor and instructor Corporal Ong, who is determined to make men of them. Along the way, they also have a surprise encounter with a woman combat officer.
In between their training sessions, the boys get a glimpse into each other’s lives, and come to terms with growing pains and the real world.