The Mole Song – Undercover Agent Reiji ("Mogura no uta ")
Official Selection, International Film Festival Rotterdam 2014
“Flagrantly stylish, manically violent entertainment... comedy with a punch as well as a punch line” - Mark Schilling, JAPAN TIMES
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Officer Reiji Kikukawa is the only one surprised when his badge and gun are confiscated because of his poor performance — he has a massive file of peeping-tom complaints in his records. His boss decides to boot him from the force — and secretly establish him as a double agent. His mission is to infiltrate Sukiya-kai, the most powerful yakuza clan in Japan, with the goal of busting its chief and cutting off the flood of drugs poisoning the country. After a bizarre but rigorous training, including a half-naked hell-ride on the hood of a car, Reiji is ready for his role as a mole. He makes a smashing entry into the world of organized crime, getting him on the good side of the violent Hiura, aka Crazy Papillon, a powerful yakuza affiliated with Sukiya-kai. The recklessness, bordering on stupidity, of Reiji earns him a perverse respect and he’s soon climbing the ranks of the organization, but it also earns him enemies with a lot of clout in a rival gang. Pretty soon he’s in the middle of a bloody gang war on one hand and an internal power struggle on the other.
After the disturbing LESSON OF THE EVIL and the intense SHIELD OF STRAW, Takashi Miike comes back to his fun and freewheeling style with THE MOLE SONG – UNDERCOVER AGENT REIJI, adapting the cult manga by Noboru Takahashi for the screen. With its host of unusual characters, urgent tempo and, care of Miike’s ZEBRAMAN collaborator Kankuro Kudo, hilarious dialogue, the auteur makes the absolute most of the playground he built for himself here. From strange animated sequences to extravagant sets to surreal fight scenes, Miike throws it all in there to make a delirious spectacle that is fearless in its excesses. This comic-book spirit is likewise apparent in the performances of his cast. Toma Ikuta (BRAIN MAN) displays undeniable comedic chops in his turn as Reiji and his chemistry with the excellent Shinichi Tsutsumi (I'LL GIVE IT MY ALL... TOMORROW) shreds the screen. The duo head a ssolid cast, notably including Riisa Naka (MITSUKO DELIVERS) and Takayuki Yamada (also in MONSTERZ at the fest this year). With its marvellously absurd humour and contagious energy, THE MOLE SONG marks Miike’s magnificent return to comedy!
— Nicolas Archambault