Film Reviews, Short Review

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999)


Like many of Jim Jarmusch’s films, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai is a hodgepodge of post-modern elements. Our titular character, played by Forest Whitaker, is a black hit-man obsessed with the code of the samurai. He does contracts for sub-Goodfellas mafia gangsters, one of whom is quite a fan of Flava Flav. There’s also discussions about books and an absolutely gorgeous soundtrack by RZA. However, unlike Tarantino’s endless shallow-but-entertaining quotations and mishmashes, Jarmusch’s films always have a deeper reasoning behind them. Beyond the sheer coolness of Ghost Dog, we have a meditation on the impact of various cultures on our lifestyles and ways of thinking. That Ghost Dog manages to be consistently funny and always entertaining whilst doing this is just testament to Jarmusch’s talents.


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