17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
This has become an all time favourite.,
This review is from: Ghost Dog - The Way Of The Samurai [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Not that Jim Jarmusch has made a bad film (though 'Night on Earth' & 'Year of the Horse' were so-so)- but this one doesn't sound great on paper: a hitman who lives by a Samurai code and whose best friend is a French ice-cream salesman (naturally he doesn't speak French)- and his conflict with his 'master'- a Mafia hitman and his crew. Oh, and he's a piegeon fancier also!
The film feels like a cross between Melville's 'Le Samurai', Boorman's 'Point Blank' & Kitano's 'Sonatine'. It continues the transcedental mediations on death found in 'Dead Man'- as with that film it has a great score- by Wu-Tang man, RZA (along with the Wu-related work on 'Black & White', it is clear that their best work since Ghostface Killah's 'Ironman' is in soundtracks (exception-'Nigga Please' by ODB)).
There are some great moments of humour- the racist mob guy who digs Flavour Flav (Public Enemy), the reprisal of Gary Farmer as a Native -American and his catchphrase "stupid f***ing white man" (big influence on Michael Moore's book?), the old man being mugged or the bullet relations between Ghost Dog & Louie. And the subtitled mis/understandings are the best this side of 'Annie Hall'. The ice cream salesman (Roger from ER) and the young girl show the charming fraternal side to Ghost Dog's world; while Henry Silva and Victor Argo are among the Mafioso- or Jarmusch's deconstruction of. A canny reference to 'Rashomon' is present throughout the film, it's also a little like 'Leon'- there's also a boat on a roof- which is reminsicent of the ship in the tree in Herzog's 'Aguire,Wrath of God'. The film is wonderfully shot by Robby Muller- the exposed film leaves magical traces and the cityscape is not disimilar to 'Blade Runner' (we also get cuts that remind me of Travis Bickle walking down the street in 'Taxi Driver'-a great use of dissolve). And great to hear the original 'Armigideon Time' on the soundtrack! A modern classic at a bargain price; this one will creep up on you til you realise it's an all time favourite!