Hybridising hip-hop flicks, Mob movies and a homage to Japan's honourable warriors, Ghost Dog tells of an assassin (Whitaker) loyal only to Mafioso Louie (Tormey). When the Mob turns on Ghost Dog, the pigeon-fancying hitman proves more than a match for their bumbling henchmen.
As in Le Samourai, Ghost Dog is a quiet loner and his only real friend is a Haitian ice cream man who speaks no English - while Ghost Dog speaks no French... This is quirky stuff indeed, with a Mafia don singing along to Public Enemy as he cleans his teeth and Ghost Dog practising his martial arts skills in the pigeon shit-splattered domain that is his rooftop home and sanctuary.
After getting just a little bit too obscure in Dead Man, Jarmusch here reiterates not just his originality but also his warmth and humour. With fresh camerawork and meaty hip-hop score from the Wu-Tang Clan's RZA, Ghost Dog is something special. If you get it, that is.