Ghost Dog: Way Of The Samurai (2000)

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A solitary, bird-loving hit man is targeted by his own employer but his code of honour prevents him from direct retaliation.

Ghost Dog is probably Jim Jarmusch’s most accessible film but is still a quirky and off beat affair that feels all the world like a Hip Hop version of a Takeshi Kitano gangster film. Forest Whitaker cuts an imposing figure who is like a modern day pigeon-fancying Yojimbo who has chosen to live by the Samurai code in modern day America. It’s a very low key film that combines amusingly oddball characters – especially the inept, bigoted and hypocritical “stupid f***ing white men” who clearly don’t deserve his loyalty – black humour and understated violence to great effect. Add a soundtrack by the RZA that perfectly compliments the mood of the film and you have a rather unique gangster film that plays out a bit like Leon on Valium.

Which strangely enough, is a very good thing.

7.5/10

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