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MEN IN WHITE (Singapore)


Genre: Horror/Comedy
Starring: Shaun Chen, Ling Lee, Ben Yeung, Xavier Teo, Alice Lim, David Aw
Director: Kelvin Tong
Rating: PG
Year Made: 2007




- Cinema Trailer
- TV Trailers
- Music Videos
- Making of
- Photo Gallery




Languages: English/Mandarin/
Subtitles: Chinese/English/Malay
Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen 4x3
Sound: Dolby Digital
Running Time: 1 hr 28 mins
Region Code: PAL 3
Distributor: Innoform Media




Revolving around five cowardly and clueless Singaporean ghosts - a badminton player, a gangster girl, a housewife and two hip-hop rappers, Men In White tells of their bizarre rules of ghost-hood.

Trouble arrives in the form of a photographer ghost who joins out motley crew of undead and instigates them to wreak havoc on unsuspecting humans. The living fights back and our ghosts find themselves on the run and embarking unwittingly on a hilarious quest to strike fear into hearts of Singaporeans - a tribe more afraid of losing, failing and breaking rules than ghosts.


I really wanted to like this movie which almost everyone I know hated, mainly because I’ve always thought highly of local filmmaker Kelvin Tong. Eating Air (1999) was a hip and cool collaboration with Jasmine Ng. The Maid (2005) was a very nicely balanced movie between style and commercial considerations. Love Story (2006) was a theatrical and poetic effort meant for a niche crowd.

Tong’s latest work Men In White is, as much as I don’t like to use the word, a mess.

The story tells of a motley crew of Singaporean ghosts who do seemingly exciting things like speaking in Americanized English, Hong Kong Cantonese, help to clean houses, help people win gambles and kidnap poor mortals who stare at them. And thanks to a new ghost who joins the club, these ill-informed spirits finally realize that they have to power to scare the hell out of us mere mortals.

The cast isn’t that bad: There’s the always likeable Shaun Chen, the slightly amusing Xavier Teo and Ben Yeung, the slightly overacting Ling Lee, the vulnerable Alice Lim, amongst other cameos from Dennis Chew, Adrian Pang and Ix Shen.

The laughs aren’t that bad either: I actually chuckled at some of the setups where the movie educated human beings about things like whether ghosts fall in love, get jealous or eat food like us. Watch out for the animated commercial where two cartoon ghosts suffer the consequences of not practicing birth control.

The production values are quite good here: You can see the effort put into shot composition, lighting and post production.

So why is the 88-minute movie a mess? Because there is no point to the entire picture except for what would work okay on a prolonged television comedy series. Throw in dirty toilet gags, inconsequential gay jokes and a forgettable plot and what you’d have is a mess of a movie directed by one of my favourite local directors of all time.



This Code 3 DVD contains a 22-minute “Making Of” feature where members of the cast obligatorily praise each other, and talk about their own supernatural encounters. There are also three “Music Videos” where you can sing along to the Hokkien songs featured in the movie. Included in the disc are cinema and TV “Trailers” and a “Photo Gallery”.


The disc’s visual transfer is nice enough to showcase the well-executed lighting and camera framings, while the local movie’s audio track is presented in English/ Mandarin/ Hokkien/ Cantonese/ Hakka 5.1 Dolby Digital. Truly Singaporean indeed.



Review by John Li



Alternative Opinion:

The movie review by our columnist


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This review is made possible with the kind support from InnoForm


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