The Mole Song: Final at Fantasia Festival 2022

The Mole Song: Final
Japan | Japanese
2021 | 129 Minutes
Director: Takashi Miike
Cast: Toma Ikuta, Riisa Naka, Ryohei Suzuki, Shinichi Tsutsumi, Nanao Arai

Famed director Takashi Miike concludes his The Mole Song trilogy with this, the final piece to the puzzle.

How does one even begin to describe the sights seen in The Mole Song: Final? Perhaps by calling it pure lunacy would be an apt beginning – but perhaps not an overtly fair one. Those familiar with the works of Takashi Miike, whose films now number over a hundred pieces, would probably know to expect something… different, to say the least.

Something extremely worrying is going on in Italy. The mafia has succeeded in creating a pasta made entirely of methamphetamines: speed-a-ronis. Double agent Reiji Kikukawa, who has infiltrated Japan’s most dangerous yakuza clan, is assigned by the Machiavellian Shuo Todoroki, the man he has sworn to arrest, to oversee the largest drug shipment in history. It’s the perfect opportunity to send the gang leader to the slammer, but Reiji needs to make as few silly mistakes as possible, which would be a feat in his case, especially after his sweet Juna jilted him for yet another libidinous fling. However, the cruel Leo, Todoroki’s heir, messes up the plans of our ostentatious mole, who also has to keep his distance from his “brother”, the fiercely anti-drug yakuza Papillon, to whom he will eventually have to confess his true identity.

See Also: Vesper at Fantasia Festival 2022 

The opening scene, for example, shows our hero, crucified, with cream cheese smeared over his nipples and being attacked by seagulls. His genitals too are covered in the same cheese – and a vase, which Reiji Kikukawa tries desperately to keep from sliding off and thus reveling his manhood to the hungry, long-beaked osprey. This is how the film begins, and the craziness is only amped up as the movie runs its course. The things you’ll see here, nothing can prepare you for.

As in the two previous films, Reiji Kikukawa is a double-agent, an under cover cop trying to infiltrate a dangerous criminal underworld gang and prevent the biggest drug deal in Japanese history from taking place. Only, Kikukawa isn’t a very good cop, and his antics often lead him down ludicrous paths. Yet, this is a Takashi Miike film which means that such a basic and overly done story is far from what it would seem to be on paper.

Each set piece grows stranger than the previous, and is over the top and completely absurd from the get go. Goofy, rife with idiocy and stupidity – and completely hilarious. Creating such a film, let alone a trilogy of them, takes a strong imagination. To think up so many unlikely and implausible scenarios, then link them all together and cast them to cellulite is a master work. All the special effects and CGI that went into this film, too, was  great and I would have loved to have been in the meetings where the director tried to explain his vision to the special effects teams.

Ultimately, the film concludes with some over the top scenes aboard a cruise ship that comes with the most insane finale I have ever seen – or at least can remember seeing, and to write about it here would be to do both the film and its potential viewership a great injustice. Except the unexpected. The audience at Fantasia festival was in uproar throughout this lengthy feature, and loudly applauded once the credits began to role. I suspect many of them left the cinema what the fuck they had just witnessed – I know I did.

At its heart, this is a martial arts film, or is it a comedy – a fantasy film or maybe even a sci-fi flick? Why not all of the above. There is so much going in The Mole Song: Final that several viewings are necessary to fully understand what is going on.