Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999) starring Forest Whitaker, John Tormey, Cliff Gorman, Dennis Liu directed by Jim Jarmusch Movie Review

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Forest Whitaker in Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999)

The Only Way is Samurai

Ghost Dog (Forest Whitaker) is an African American assassin who lives in Jersey City where he keeps a simplistic life style as he follows "Hagakure: The Way of the Samurai." Ever since a member of the mob saved him as a child he has worked for him in an unorthodox set up where they communicate by messenger pigeon. But when a woman witnesses one of Ghost Dog's hit he needs to be got rid off so the mob send out their heavies to kill any one who keeps pigeons on their roof tops.

I didn't mention something in that synopsis of "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai" our assassin has but two friend, a young boy who he meets in the park and discusses deep books with and a Haitian ice cream seller who only speaks French. Add that to other strange elements such as the communicating via messenger pigeon and geriatric mafia hit men out of breath as they climb the stairs and what we have is a weird movie which seems to be trying to be serious but also quirky and unfortunately it doesn't work for me.

The extent to how little "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai" did for me is beyond words as scenes such as when Ghost Dog shoots someone and then goes to holster his gun the fact he waives it in the air like a Samurai sword is not funny just moronic. But moronic combined with that element of seriousness is a strange brew which doesn't work. It also doesn't work that the characters have no depth they are simply kooky which also contributes to why this movie is a struggle.

Now in fairness there were some things I liked about "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai" and one of those if Forest Whitaker who in the early scenes as he walks the street undetected is comically believable. But it is a case that every time I found something I liked I would find a few things which didn't do anything for me.

What this all boils down to is that "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai" was not for me and I found it hard work from beginning to end with just a few bits of it ending up entertaining.