Secret Undercover Agent - Honey and Bunny

Japan, 2007
Original title: Himitsu Sennyuu Sousakan: Honey & Bunny

Director: Keiichi Kobayashi
Starring: Haruna Yabuki, Yuri Morishita, Fumie Nakajima

Sometimes we review movies that are so unknown and under-reviewed that it becomes a public-service requirement to give them their due. This is one of those occasions, for its unlikely that this will ever be mistaken for an Oscar nominee.

While ostensibly operating as a parody of the secret agent genre, the real raison d'etre of the film is to get two hugely popular Japanese bikini models in front of the camera and into some sexy outfits. The spoofed-out plot is just a flimsy veneer wrapped around the main attractions.

As the title would suggest, this is about two undercover agents named Honey & Bunny, played by J-idols Haruna Yabuki and Yuri Morishita respectively. Their job is to go undercover to strip joints, fetish parlours, and lingerie shows in order to sniff out the bad guys. As you will have guessed, this involves pretending to work at the aforesaid locations, and wearing the appropriate ... er, disguises.

Yup, flimsy plot contrivance to be sure - but nothing that deviates from the expectations engendered by the DVD cover itself. And for a film of this type, so obviously centred on the sex appeal of the two lead actresses, I can report that the all-important casting has been given the priority it required.

On an intellectual and artistic level, one could draw a parallel with, say, any Jessica Simpson film. The difference here is that its filtered through the distinctly Japanese 'Otaku' (geek) culture, and that its actually pretty funny at times.

Those familiar with the culture will recognise this entails an abundance of panty jokes and a preoccupation with breast-size. Likewise, the locations are centred around the Akihabara 'Electric Town' district of Tokyo. If you've ever visited Akihabara, a suburb where Japanese girls in French maid outfits stand on every corner handing out flyers, you'll realise that this kind of film is actually grounded within a semblance of reality, albeit a uniquely Japanese version.

So let's meet our intrepid secret agents ...

Haruna Yabuki plays secret agent Honey - a reasonably apt codename. Her special ability is flinging her high heels at fleeing criminals. If she happens to miss with the heels, then her next alternative is throwing a bra ... removed in-situ from either herself or her hapless assistant. If you're wondering how that could possibly be effective, you're not alone.

She is also a little bit jealous of her new junior assistant Bunny ... because she has bigger tits.

Yuri Morishita plays the cute and feather-brained junior agent, Bunny. Bunny's special skill is being able to sweat on demand. She is also a bit of an unlikely genius, with a knack for coming up with weird inventions.

Ms Morishita was quite a surprise because her acting was actually pretty awesome. She displays a real comedic talent, combining funny expressions with hilarious physical comedy. It's no surprise that she was brought back for the sequel 'Wildcats in Strip Royale' (to be reviewed soon).

OK, there's no avoiding it ... this is pure T&A, fan-service pandering. I can't believe I've written so much about it already. Call it what you will, the actresses are hot, and that would be the salient point here. It also has enough wacky entertainment value to keep things interesting.

As far as I'm aware, the DVD is only available in Japan (without English subs) - so the only option for English-speaking viewers is to use some google initiative and find a bootleg online.

Rating: 5/10 (3/10 for the film, plus 2 bonus points for the cast)

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