Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (2000)

28 April 2000

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Eastern and Western cultures and philosophies intersect in this comic drama from acclaimed director Jim Jarmusch. Ghost Dog (Forest Whitaker) is a silent modern-day warrior who lives on a rooftop shack. He spends his days breeding pigeons and playing chess in the park with his best friend, Raymond (Isaach de Bankole), a French-speaking ice-cream man. At night he goes to work as a hit man, performing his tasks stealthily and invisibly, abiding by the codes established by HAGAKURE: THE BOOK OF THE SAMURAI, an 18th-century text. One night, while on his latest hit, Ghost Dog encounters a mob boss's beautiful daughter, Louise (Tricia Vessey). Although Ghost Dog leaves her unharmed, her father nonetheless orders Ghost Dog's execution, to the dismay of Louie (John Tormey), his loyal retainer. As the mobsters struggle to locate the mysteriously untraceable Ghost Dog, he must find a way to protect himself while remaining loyal to Louie and the ancient codes that define him as an individual. Jarmusch successfully tackles a variety of genres with GHOST DOG, including mob movies and spiritual samurai films. Fusing all of this with the RZA's thumping, atmospheric score, GHOST DOG remains another entertaining addition to Jarmusch's impressive filmography.

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