Review Date: March 06, 2000
Director: Jim Jarmush
Writer: Jim Jarmush
Producers: Jim Jarmush and Richard Guay
Forest Whitaker as Ghost Dog
John Tormey as Louie
Maybe it's because I am really sick of all the same formula granola that I've been served for the first couple of months of this movie season, or maybe I just really haven't seen a character this cool in a long, long time, but no matter what the reason, this film just grew on me despite having its slow moments and symbolic undertones. Did I really understand all the flashcards spouting samurai parables between every other scene? No way, in fact, I didn't get most of them, but strangely felt compelled to listen closely and ponder over every one. Am I losing it? Perhaps. Some might say that I am "growing", since I actually liked a "Jim Jarmush" film (mind you, it's a watered down Jarmush). All's I know is that this movie had a compelling little tale to tell, one bad mutha as its lead, Forest Whitaker and his lazy eye performing admirably, and surprisingly, plenty of humor to pepper along the way. I especially loved all of the third rate mobsters, obviously spent and past their prime, but still acting very much their role. And let's not forget the bloodshed, kids. Okay, so it's not a Schwarzenegger body count, but considering that our Mr. Ghost Dog is, in fact, a hitman...plenty of murders do take place. All of which are handled with great style and technique. Of course, the man is extremely serious about his job (when he's not talking to pigeons that is), likes to live his life according to the ancient teachings of the Japanese samurai and even swishes his gun into his holster, just as a seasoned samurai would his sword.
All in all, a refreshing new gangster film featuring a standout performance by Whitaker, many funny moments, the original stylings of Jimmy Jarmush and an extra cool soundtrack. A soundtrack that will be making an appearance in my collection any day now.