Forest Whitaker plays Ghost Dog a professional assassin who follows the Japanese way of the Samurai with its code and ethics taken from a book he possesses called Hagakure.
When he was a young man rival gang members beat him up badly and he is about to be shot dead when he is rescued by Louie a member of the Italian mafia in the area. This action means a bond between the two is made. His only communication with Ghost Dog is by carrier pigeon and during his latest hit mission he sees a girl in the same apartment, and things get complicated.
Louie’s bosses want the assassin and all evidence to be eradicated and now it is up to Ghost Dog to try and survive the hitmen out to get him and live up to his code of honour.
Director Jim Jarmusch is no ordinary director but this is probably his finest work. The atmosphere of the film is unique and the score by rap star Rza compliments and enhances the mood of the film tremendously. Forest Whitaker shines as the quiet but respected member of his black neighbourhood and is calm and cool when going about his work.
The supporting cast is also great including a small part from Henry Silver as a gang boss member, Isaach de Bankole as his best friend who only speaks French and Cliff Gorman as mafia boss Sonny Volero who loves and recites rap music in a couple of hilarious scenes.
It’s an unusual film which is hard to explain in detail but it is well-paced paced, edited, the mixture of genres works really well, with some great action set pieces as it builds to a tragic climax. It may take a while to get into the flow of the film but it is well worth persevering with it.
The film has now had a new 4K remaster and looks superb with a really detailed image. For an indy flick it really does look good with bold black levels with rich texture. The audio is again great, with pulsing bass frequencies but the dialogue and narration are clear and understandable and the music score really adds to the atmosphere.
Extras give you Ghost Dog – The Odyssey: A Journey into the Life of a Samurai, a fascinating if short look at the making of the film, deleted scenes and a trailer.
An offbeat cult classic that has had a really good makeover and looks the best it ever has. Also available on 4K UHD.
FILM – 8 PICTURE – 9 – AUDIO – 8.5 EXTRAS – 6