AsianMovieWeb logo
Original Title:
Saekjeuk shigong

South Korea 2002

Comedy, Romance

Yun Je-gyun

Ha Ji-won
Lim Chang Jung
Jin Jae-yeong
Choi Seong-guk
Yu Chae-yeong
Shin Yi
Jung Min

Search AsianMovieWeb

Sex is Zero

Story: Eun-Shik (Lim Chang-jung) is 28 years old and studys at an university. Together with his friends he is part of a Martial-Arts group who made it their ultimate goal to harden the human body by smashing different objects at it. However, Eun-Shik actually doesn't need to be hit on purpose, because he unwillingly does get enough of it anyway. He is a real unlucky fellow, frequently being catched in the most odd and embarrassing situations. Moreover, of all people he did fall in love with campus-beauty Eun-hyo (Ha Ji-won), an aerobic-dancer. But she herself has only eyes for her new "cool" boyfriend.
Between the group around Eun-Shik and the aerobic dancer there is a date eventually. Nearly everyone gets what he was hoping for - only Eun-Shik doesn't get anything, naturally. Yet, he doesn't give up and tries the support Eun-hyo in every way possible. When Eun-hyo gets pregnant and dumped by her boyfriend shortly thereafter, she actually is in strong need of a good friend...

Review: "Sex is Zero" is a tribute to the campus-teeny-comedies of the 80s and to movies like "American Pie" and "Road Trip". And herein lies the big problem. If the kind of humor of those "big brothers" isn't your cup of tea, then you hardly will have any fun with this comedy. That is because the gags are very vulgar and explicit. Nevertheless, the movie managed to make me smile more than once and this even though I'm generally reluctant towards this kind of humor.

One problem of the movie is that there seemingly aren't any main characters at first. Most of the time the story switches between the different persons and one doesn't center around any of them. Only in the latter half of the film we get to know that Eun-Shik is supposed to be the "hero" of the movie. Truely a sad hero, because the situations in which he is caught over and over again are so ebarrassing that it even hurts the viewer just watching them. His foolishness is so enormous that sometimes you just can't stand it.
Of course, the movie is full of toilet humor. Every formulaic cheap joke has found its way in here and they are conveyed in such explicit pictures that sometimes you'll feel like throwing up.
It's also surprising how much nudeness is shown in this Korean flick. It wouldn't have taken much and the border to a softporn would have been crossed.

"Sex sells" must have been the slogan when they did the casting for the female roles. In the end they are all good till breathtakingly good looking - first of all there is Ha Ji-won, of course. If the girls, scantily dressed start to jump and dance in an aerobic-studio most men will surely forget breathing. It is simple and even if you wished it weren't so, at this sight nearly every man's thinking will be reduced to its most simple and natural instincts - what I want to say is: The sight of the women alone make it nearly worth watching the movie...

The story is "relatively" good and the presentation is also quite nice in places. But sadly only in places. Especially at the beginning the movie has to struggle with the fact that there is no real main protagonist that one did focus on. Eun-Hyo just seems to be cold and cruel, whereas Eun-Shik is just dumb. Only in the second half their characters start to evolve and they show some unsuspected facets in their characteristics, so that watching starts to be fun again - but as already said, it's a little bit too late.

At least now the love story starts to unfold and this in a relatively believable way. Yet, there is another sore point to be found here. In the latter half the movie starts to bring the topic of abortion into play, giving the whole atmosphere a sudden serious touch. The scene in which Eun-Hyo lies in the bathroom bleeding is almost shocking and doesn't fit to the happy-life flair of the rest of the movie. However, this little drama aspect gives our two main actors the opportunity to show us that they are capable of doing more than just playing two dumb supernumeraries in a teeny comedy. Nonetheless, the ending is dissappointing in many aspects as it is just too typical and nearly as predictable as most of the jokes.

If you are able to shut down your brain and just want to be entertained then "Sex is Zero" is the right choice for you. Most of the gags are just too coarse for my taste and they can be foreseen miles in advance. Nevertheless, sometimes you will find yourself smiling, especially since there is enough situation comedy that nearly everyone can laugh about.

At the bottom line this is an entertaining movie, that is worth watching it even if it is just for the girls. It is simple entertainment and if you can laugh about jokes a la "American Pie" at its best then you might even add another point to the end result!

(Author: Manfred Selzer)
Buy this movie:

Yesasia Logo