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No Manners (2002)
"Pumhaeng zero" (original title)

7.0
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He's the only son of a mother who runs a hair salon while also being the "best fighter" of Moonduk High School. His name's Joong-pil, and his days are really tough. But the most important ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
...
Eun-kyeong Lim ...
Ji-hye Shin ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hyung-Joon Ahn ...
Kil-Kang Ahn ...
Taekwondo Master
Chris Ayres ...
Student Warning / Student Bow B / Judo Dude C / Student Chief B (voice) (as Christopher Ayres)
Greg Ayres ...
Student Aqua Shirt / Skate Wimp A / Student Gamer A / Student Window Fight (voice)
Rebecca Ayres ...
Small Kid / Kid B (voice)
Clint Bickham ...
Student Black Glasses / Student Gamer B / Student Black Shirt (voice)
Tae-gyu Bong ...
Soo-dong
...
Porn Dealer (voice)
April Brem ...
Lady Pig Tales / Gangsta Bitch Brawlers B (voice)
Kevin Brown ...
Young-mahn (voice)
...
Joong-pil's Mother (voice)
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Storyline

He's the only son of a mother who runs a hair salon while also being the "best fighter" of Moonduk High School. His name's Joong-pil, and his days are really tough. But the most important part of his day is going to school. Firstly, to meet the expectations of his followers and to frequently make his presence known, he has to fight other groups trying to take over his position. He also has to look after the rooftop of the school building which is used as their hideout. Adding to this, he has to look after a rollerskating field, a big hangout for kids, and he's even in the dirty magazines trade at school to earn some extra cash. There's nothing that Joong-pil doesn't have his hands on already. And under Joong-pil's protection and threats, he maintains a peaceful relationship with Dan-gun's gang, who holds the number two spot at school. But one day, Cupid's arrow unexpectedly strikes Joong-pil's heart who before had nothing to worry about and fear. It's Min-hee, the prettiest girl of ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

taekwondo

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some sexual content and violence | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

Release Date:

14 November 2002 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

Conduct Zero  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

References Purple Rain (1984) See more »

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User Reviews

Surprisingly entertaining Corean high school period comedy.
2 November 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Conduct Zero is a Corean high school period comedy. When you stick "high school" with "Corean" and focus on boys, you're very likely going to see a lot of violence, due to the rather violent masculine culture prevalent in Corean boys' high schools in the past. It's important to understand this, as the social hierarchy in Corean boys' high schools in the past was largely built around fighting prowess, with the best fighter being a sort of "king" at the high school. In Conduct Zero, Joong Pil is the king of his high school. He's also vain, slovenly and perhaps a bit stupid, played to excellence by Ryu Seung Wan. Fortunately, rather than being all fighting and drama like the 70's set Once Upon a Time in High School, Conduct Zero is a comedy and a surprisingly entertaining one.

As king of his school, Joong Pil spends much of his time bullying the other students (more annoyingly then maliciously) and extorting money out of them via his and his buddy's "porn drawings" business. The plot begins as Joong Pil encounters the nerdy, but confident, good girl Choi Min Hee and finds himself instantly smitten. Of course, the local tough guy falling for a nice girl only leads to trouble amongst the wolf pack that is high school.

One thing that Conduct Zero does surprisingly well is balance its comedy and drama elements. The comedy veers from totally wacky (especially in the hyperbolic storytelling of the badassery of Joong Pil and, later, his rival) to amusing character-based comedy, primarily centered on Joong Pil's shenanigans and awkward attempts of courtship. The more dramatic elements appear more towards the climax and while the tone is different, the transition is quite smooth. The rest of the well paced running time is filled with enjoyable side characters. In addition to Joong Pil's scheming buddy, the cast includes rather good-natured by guileless nerd as well as the infatuated "queen" of the girl's school and her posse.

The story moves well from one point to the next, thanks to a good script. The period elements, setting in 1980's Corea aren't obtrusive, but they add a certain charm to the film and the art, sets and costumes are solid. The acting is very good and the direction manages to keep its focus well, appropriately and almost invisibly shifting mood and tone to fit the comic or dramatic aspects of the plot. Not every joke works well, though, and there is some culturally specific comedy involved (including a very amusing music reference to the popular animation "Robot Taekwon V"). Speaking of which, the soundtrack is a blend of period music and a surprisingly catchy sampling of 90's era Corean hip-pop. It was largely successful although the score wasn't as memorable.

All in all, Conduct Zero is actually an excellent teen/high school comedy and while it's rougher and dirtier than the average American entry into the genre, its charms are notable and flaws are limited enough to make watching it a surprising treat. Conduct Zero is by no means an end all and be all to the high school comedy, but it's a rather solid entry that deserves to be seen. 8/10.

DVD Note: I watched the US release, distributed by ADV Films, which primarily does anime releases (as you can tell by the long advertisement when you pop in the DVD). The video transfer is fine, but the dubbing, like much of the dubbing by companies in this business is not exactly inspiring. Unfortunately, the Corean language soundtrack only gets a Dolby 2.0 mix, instead of the 5.1 and DTS mixes that are available in its native DVD release. I recommend steering away from the wooden (and poorly mixed) dubbed track and watching it in its original Corean with subtitles.


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