I come across some really weird movies sometimes, but when it’s directed by Takahshi Miike, at least you know what you’re getting int0. He’s done movies like Ichi the Killer, Yatterman and one of my all-time favorites, Zebraman. And now he’s doing an undercover cop flick.
Well not any undercover cop, but the worst cop ever. So let’s take a look at The Mole Song: Undercover Agent Reiji and see how far down the rabbit hole it all goes.
Reiji isn’t a good cop, in fact, he’s the worst, having the dubious honor of the lowest score in the police academy’s history. But when he’s fired from his job in a police box, the chief has something else in mind, putting him deep undercover with the nastiest gang in Japan, the Sukiya-kai gang. He’s supposed to gain their trust, find out how they’re smuggling a dangerous new drug into the country, and take out the top dogs. But as I already said, Reiji isn’t a good cop, but maybe has just enough heart to get the job done.
Now like all Takashi Miike movies, there is plenty of comedy to go around, the story isn’t particularly serious and often just breaks down into near slapstick. From the beginning where Reiji is strapped naked to the hood of a car and driven through a car wash, to the end where the kidnapped gang leader shows up with super-advanced bionic legs, at no point are you going to think this is a serious crime drama. But the one thing that it is is entertaining. Most Miike movies are long and this is no exception, clocking in at 130 minutes, but it rarely bogs down under its own weight. I guess there are a few bits between the second and third acts that could use a little help, but overall, I was never bored. It was a fun ride throughout.
Toma Ikuta plays Reiji and does a fantastic job. He’s been in series like Akihara@Deep and movies like Brain Man and the upcoming Himitsu: The Top Secret which I’m looking forward to. Then there’s Riisa Naka, Reiji’s girlfriend, who was in the series Lucky Seven, which I’ve reviewed, and was in Zebraman 2: Attack on Zebra City. And finally, Shinichi Tsutsumi was Hiura, Reiji’s partner and “brother” in crime who comes back “augmented”. He was in the original One Missed Call, the Space Battleship Yamato movie and both of the SP movies. And finally, I have to give credit to the always wonderful, legendary Ren Osugi, whose long career covers everything from Fukie Keibuho no Aisatsu to Triangle to Iryu Sosa on TV and Zebraman, Train Man and Kamen Rider Decade on the big screen. He’s even in the upcoming Godzilla Resurgence.
So if you’re looking for a fun movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously and may be one of Takeshi Miike’s most entertaining films in years, you can’t go wrong with The Mole Song. Lots of action, lots of comedy, some pathos, some romance and a lot of big set piece cop drama, this is the most fun I’ve had in a Miike flick in a while.