Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sex is Zero 2

Not Zero

It's quite surprising to see this movie still playing to record attendance even after at least a week in the cinemas. Like most Korean R21 movies, there's this notion that although the title titillates, there isn't really much to see, and while the franchise might be billed as Korea's answer to America's American Pie, it's pretty much far from it in terms of raunchiness, because at its core it still fell prey to a typical melodramatic romance movie with a dash of comedic elements.

Not having seen the movie in full, it didn't really matter, unless you're slow to pick up on the characters and their background shenanigans that they brought over from Part 1. The main female lead then was conveniently written off in the introduction in less than 5 minutes, only to be replaced by Song Ji-hyo's Kyung-ah, who meets the equivalent of Jason Bigg's Jim Levenstein in Im Chang-jeong's Eun-sik, in a hospital hostage situation. Fast forward and we have the couple in dating terms, although for reasons to be revealed, they haven't taken the plunge while the notion's constantly being mooted by their peers.

So Part 2 actually continues where the last left off. Everyone's still a student, and for sports, the girls are into swimming, while the guys are Multi-Martial Arts practitioners, both sides whose coaches are in a relationship. I thought that the way the story developed, just allowed for very rudimentary character development, and seemed more interested in getting through scene after scene of skin baring potential. Toilet humour is welcome of course, and when the whole audience are into it, the crass gets converted to rip-roaring fun gags, especially with the one utilizing a lollipop as the weapon of choice (was it in the first?)

Some gags though are still quite juvenile and you'd wonder if you're laughing along with the characters, or at the characters or the story, whose punchline you're expecting to come from miles away. And for those who've watched the first, stay tuned again for the same old rehashed treatment of semi-naked characters running around from one room to another, escaping from one frying pan situation only to find themselves in the fire. While it might be fun the first time round, having it sort of repeated just reeks of staleness.

As expected, only the one-dimensional side show characters get to show their skin, so those drooling over the prospects of seeing Song Ji-hyo bare something, too bad. Between the two leads it's a typical romantic story of the finding, losing and reconciling cycle, which drew inspiration with ideas from just about any generic genre movie you can think of, so that it's nothing to shout about. However, both main leads Song Ji-hyo and Im Chang-jeong (some suspension of disbelief required as he's acting as a teen) have plenty of chemistry together, and watching them go through the motions is such sinful pleasures, even if it had to resort to activating the tear ducts or two.

All in all, pretty enjoyable flick only if you're watching it with the right crowd who aren't hesitant in laughing at pretty much every silly gag, a running one which even involves a transsexual.

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