Movie: Ghost Dog


Ghost Dog:The Way of the Samurai

Had a fun evening last night, one of my colleagues popped over for an evening of eating Pizza and watching old kung fu movies. We decided to watch the first episode of Monkey ( i’m one of the sad gits who has the complete series on DVD) anyway she and I got all philosophical as we laughed our heads off watching the exploits the Great Sage, Equal of Heaven!. However before she left, my friend lent me her copy of this incredible film that I’d never heard of called Ghost Dog. I got round to watching it this morning when I got back from the gym, and I have to admitt I was completely engrossed.

The movie Ghost Dog revolves around its title character, an African-American mafia hit man who has taken the spiritual and philosophical posture of a samurai, and his attempts to reconcile his beliefs with those of his employers. Ghost Dog (Forrest Whitaker) devotedly carries out assassinations for his retainer Louie (John Tormey), a mafia foot soldier who once saved his life. However when the daughter of a mafia don witnesses Ghost Dog executing a foot soldier, the local Don orders his execution. The film basically follows Ghost Dog as he attempts to survive, this ordeal is extremely complex as he attempts to adhere to the strict samurai code.

Ghost Dog attains high levels of spirituality by practicing martial arts and reading the Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai, an 18th century book that established the philosophy of the samurai – which I’ve mentioned previously on this blog since its a book I’ve been reading and re-reading for a number of years. In fact the movie is littered with quotes from the Hagakure which are presented intermittently on the screen throughout the film. Perhaps thats one of the reasons I was so engrossed by this movie.

Forrest Whittaker is excellent in the title role, this isnt a big budget special effects laden movie, nor is it overly violent. It’s one of those movies that revolves entirely around the characters.

I think its excellent! and I thoroughly recommend it 😉

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