Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai


(out of 5)

 is terrific as a hired hit man who styles himself a modern day samurai, elegantly swinging his guns into his jacket as if they were swords and keeping his copy of the Hagekure on him for reference at all times.  He is best friends with a Haitian ice cream seller () who only speaks French, which Whitaker does not understand, and is the retainer for a mobster who once saved his life, a debt which he holds in high regard.  When he pulls off a hit for his old friend that makes him the target of mafiosos who don’t like loose ends, Whitaker must figure out a way to get ahead of a group of tired, old gangsters who want him removed permanently.  Jim Jarmusch combines elements of modern and classic film genres with perfect ease in telling this engaging and at times very funny tale, moving through the plot with cold precision and presenting a number of characters who are incisively memorable.  Only in a Jarmusch film is vengeance not just right but necessary for the broken down villains targeted by a coolly dispassionate killer, and only in a Jarmusch film can a samurai warrior be made that much more elegant by musical accompaniment provided by RZA.

, , Degeto Film, , , Canal+,

France/Germany/USA/Japan, 1999

Directed by

Screenplay by Jim Jarmusch

Cinematography by

Produced by , Jim Jarmusch

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Cannes Film Festival:  1999

Toronto International Film Festival:  1999



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