Jim Jarmusch’ take on the Hagakure, the Japanese manual for the warrior from the early 18th century. The book is quoted extensively.
The Ghost Dog from the title is also the Samurai from the title. Ghost Dog is a contract killer who looks like a “gangsta”. This element gives Jarmusch the possibility to add some negroid gang elements to his film and fitting music. The third element of the film is Italian maffia because that is the world that Ghost Dog gets his contracts from and with which he collides which forms the story of the film. The maffia elements of the film contain some black humour and references to films in the style.
These three pretty distinct elements Jarmusch managed to turn into a highly amusing whole. He even added his own way of filming: slow and minimalistic. I am not overly convinced by main part player Forest Whitaker, but this film is certainly entertaining when you like Jarmusch’ style.
It was about time that I saw an original and descent film.