Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai



Jurassic Mark

SCORE: 3 Stars

Director Jim Jarmusch impressed the panel (I don't know about RC) with his stylistic, bloody, cult classic "Dead Man."
Now we have another violent, stylish independent original starring a black man that makes Shaft look like white bread.

Forest Whitaker plays "Ghost Dog." He's a hit man from the inner city that has taken the code of the samurai. Ghost Dog's involvement with the mafia had always been a lucrative two-way street. Through an unfortunate miscommunication, however, the mob is now after Ghost Dog.

The fate of Johnny Depp in Dead Man is similar to the fate of Forest Whitaker in Ghost Dog. Jarmusch has a theme of plunging his heroes into a spiraling descent into chaos and violence. The difference here is that Ghost Dog's code allows him to be the instigator, while Depp's character grew to legendary status while on the lam.

Ghost Dog is far from a perfect film. For example, it doesn't have the haunting, dream-like feel of the superior Dead Man. Still, Jarmusch has created an independent feature of merit. The most impressive thing is that I don't think he had to try too hard.