History Film / GhostDogTheWayOfTheSamurai

12th Jul '17 3:35:36 PM LavonPapillon1
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The story follows a hitman who calls himself Ghost Dog in the employ of the mafia. Ghost Dog has a ForeignCultureFetish for Japan in general and the samurai in particular, and strictly adheres to a samurai code derived from ''Literature/TheHagakure'' (a collection of quotations and musings from a famous samurai), and snippets from the book pop up during the movie.

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The story follows a hitman who calls himself Ghost Dog in the employ of the mafia. Ghost Dog has a ForeignCultureFetish for Japan in general and the samurai in particular, and strictly [[McSamurai adheres to a samurai code code]] derived from ''Literature/TheHagakure'' (a collection of quotations and musings from a famous samurai), and snippets from the book pop up during the movie.


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* McSamurai: Ghost Dog is black and American, yet adheres to the philosophy of the samurai and possesses a katana.
4th Jun '17 3:22:33 PM Jan_z_Michal
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* ArtisticLicenseGunSafety: Averted on meta level. It's a big no-no in film industry to point a gun other than a completely harmless prop on someone, especially toward head[[note]]Even when loaded with blanks, a gun can cause fatal injuries when fired up very close[[/note]]. When Ghost Dog and Louie meet together, Ghost Dog has a gun pointed at Louie head for the entire time. The gun was a prop, while it's a perspective trick - the barrel wasn't really pressed to John Tormey's head. Since the entire scene is TheOner, when Ghost Dog has to [[spoiler: shoot Marini]], instead of using his own gun (an useless prop), he instead [[spoiler: pulls Louie's piece]], as there was just no other way around to shot a scene requiring to fire few blanks and make it safe.

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* ArtisticLicenseGunSafety: Averted on meta level. It's a big no-no in film industry to point a gun other than a completely harmless prop on someone, especially toward head[[note]]Even when loaded with blanks, a gun can cause fatal injuries when fired up very close[[/note]]. When Ghost Dog and Louie meet together, Ghost Dog has a gun pointed at Louie Louie's head for the entire time. The gun was a prop, while it's a perspective trick - the barrel wasn't really pressed to John Tormey's head. Since the entire scene is TheOner, when Ghost Dog has to [[spoiler: shoot Marini]], instead of using his own gun (an useless prop), he instead [[spoiler: pulls Louie's piece]], as there was just no other way around to shot a scene requiring to fire few blanks and make it safe.
4th Jun '17 3:14:58 PM Jan_z_Michal
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* TheOner: The meeting between Louie and Ghost Dog is shot in full sequence. Not only it involved writting it in a way to guarantee both safety of John Tormey and finding a way to still fire a gun, but required from Whitaker to hold his outstretched arm holding a gun it it for two minutes, while keeping a stoic face.

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* TheOner: The meeting between Louie and Ghost Dog is shot in full sequence. Not only it involved writting it in a way to guarantee both safety of John Tormey and finding a way to still fire a gun, but required from Whitaker to hold his outstretched arm holding a gun it in it for two minutes, while keeping a stoic face.face and not making a single twitch.
4th Jun '17 3:11:27 PM Jan_z_Michal
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Added DiffLines:

* ArtisticLicenseGunSafety: Averted on meta level. It's a big no-no in film industry to point a gun other than a completely harmless prop on someone, especially toward head[[note]]Even when loaded with blanks, a gun can cause fatal injuries when fired up very close[[/note]]. When Ghost Dog and Louie meet together, Ghost Dog has a gun pointed at Louie head for the entire time. The gun was a prop, while it's a perspective trick - the barrel wasn't really pressed to John Tormey's head. Since the entire scene is TheOner, when Ghost Dog has to [[spoiler: shoot Marini]], instead of using his own gun (an useless prop), he instead [[spoiler: pulls Louie's piece]], as there was just no other way around to shot a scene requiring to fire few blanks and make it safe.


Added DiffLines:

* TheOner: The meeting between Louie and Ghost Dog is shot in full sequence. Not only it involved writting it in a way to guarantee both safety of John Tormey and finding a way to still fire a gun, but required from Whitaker to hold his outstretched arm holding a gun it it for two minutes, while keeping a stoic face.
9th May '17 5:44:11 PM Jan_z_Michal
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* MadeOfIron: [[spoiler: Ghost Dog takes three bullets in the chest, two of them right in the heart area. He has enough strength to make few steps and talk for a short while with Louie]].
8th May '17 6:52:59 AM Jan_z_Michal
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* TheStoic: One of the most defining characteristics of Ghost Dog is how calm and collected he is in all kind of situations. He is never shown loosing his temper, even when [[spoiler: he finds his home trashed and all his pidgeons killed or when obviously pissed when meeting two poachers]]. In the same time, he's perfectly capable of showing wide range of emotions - just not anger.

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* TheStoic: One of the most defining characteristics of Ghost Dog is how calm and collected he is in all kind of situations. He is never shown loosing his temper, even when [[spoiler: he finds his home trashed and all his pidgeons killed or when obviously pissed when meeting two poachers]]. In the same time, And despite barely changing expression or voice tone, he's perfectly still capable of showing expressing wide range of emotions - just not anger.when he wants to.
8th May '17 6:48:06 AM Jan_z_Michal
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* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: The titular character is always called by his nickname.
8th May '17 6:39:58 AM Jan_z_Michal
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* BookEnds: The film opens and closes with Hagakure quotes.

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* BookEnds: The film opens and closes with Hagakure ''Literature/TheHagakure'' quotes.



* CoolVersusAwesome: As pointed out in WebVideo/BrowsHeldHigh, "it's a mafia vs samurai for Christ's sake"



* DramaticIrony: Ghost Dog adamantly follows an idealised version of the Bushido code (which was already a highly idealised vision of samurai conduct), thinking of himself as a samurai serving to his master. A code that Louie not only doesn't know, but also doesn't understand or believe in, creating a lot of awkward situations between the two [[spoiler: and eventually forcing Louie to shoot Ghost Dog, being sure otherwise his retainer will try to kill him]].



* FaceDeathWithDignity: [[spoiler:Ray Vargo. Also Ghost Dog.]]

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* FaceDeathWithDignity: [[spoiler:Ray Vargo. Also Vargo doesn't bargain, plead or do anything else than fix his suit when Ghost Dog.Dog gives him a wordless nod to prepare himself. Also, in the end Ghost Dog himself calmly accepts his fate when Louie has to shoot him.]]



* IOweYouMyLife: The main character, who sees himself as a follower of [[{{Samurai}} Bushido]], swears allegiance to a mobster who saved his life in the past, and currently operates as an assassin for that mobster.



* IOweYouMyLife: The main character, who sees himself as a follower of [[{{Samurai}} Bushido]], swears allegiance to a mobster who saved his life in the past, and currently operates as an assassin for that mobster.

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* IOweYouMyLife: The main character, who sees himself as a follower of [[{{Samurai}} Bushido]], swears allegiance to a mobster who saved his life in IntergenerationalFriendship: Between Pearline and Ghost Dog.
* IronicEcho: "Better him/me than you, right Louie?" gets repeated throughout
the past, and currently operates as an assassin for that mobster.movie few times by different characters, always changing the meaning of the line.


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* LifeWillKillYou: [[spoiler: The old consigliere gets a heart attack when Ghost Dog suddenly enters the room with guns at hand]].
* LiteralMinded: Played for laughs. Louie realised there is just no way he will be able to explain Ghost Dog killing another member of the outfit in their defense, so he orders Ghost Dog to finish him already to spare him additional torture from the mob.
-->'''Louie''': Look, if you're my retainer, whatever that is, you do what I say and fucking shoot me! (Ghost Dog shoots Louie in an arm) Oww! The hell you did that for?!
-->'''Ghost Dog:''' (in deadpan) You told me to.
* LonersAreFreaks: It gets even invoked by Pearline. Apparently Ghost Dog has a well-established reputation as such in his hood, living in a shack with a pidgeons and always being alone. He himself is fully aware how lonely he is and how much it affects him.


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* NeighbourhoodFriendlyGangsters: ZigZagged. On one hand the guys forming the local mafia outfit are simply too old to be dangerous anymore and most of their assets were put on a trust fund for the [[MafiaPrincess don's daughter]], with most of their operations being apparently closed or liquidated. On the other, they still murder few random people when searching for Ghost Dog just because they were fitting the description close enough.


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* TheQuietOne: Not counting a voice-over (and that's only for reading short passages from ''Literature/TheHagakure'') and despite being the main character, Ghost Dog doesn't say a word for first 37 minutes. For the rest of the movie, he has only few brief dialogues.


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* ShootHimHeHasAWallet: Played with. [[spoiler: Ghost Dog does have a gun on him and goes for it in the final confrontation. But the gun is unloaded and should they've been standing closer, Louie would probably even notice the empty mag well]]. He basically forced him to get shot in a misguided self-defense.


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* ShowdownAtHighNoon: With a bit of LeaningOnTheFourthWall, as the camera is directly on Whitaker's face when he says the following line.
-->'''Ghost Dog''': ([[spoiler: To Louie]], standing few paces away on an empty street) So... This is the final shot-out scene.


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* TheStoic: One of the most defining characteristics of Ghost Dog is how calm and collected he is in all kind of situations. He is never shown loosing his temper, even when [[spoiler: he finds his home trashed and all his pidgeons killed or when obviously pissed when meeting two poachers]]. In the same time, he's perfectly capable of showing wide range of emotions - just not anger.
* StormingTheCastle: Downplayed, to fit the theme of the old, ineffectual mafia. [[spoiler: Ghost Dog ends up storming the forest mansion in which Ray Vargo is hiding, in the process killing all his made men]]. It's very brief and takes less than a minute, without facing almost any real resistance.
* TimeForPlanB: Invoked verbatim. [[spoiler: After a bird sits on a silencer of his rifle in crucial moment and thus makes it impossible to simply snipe out Mr. Vargo, Ghost Dog packs the gun and goes head-on to storm the mansion]].
8th May '17 5:34:26 AM Jan_z_Michal
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** To Frankenstein

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** To FrankensteinLiterature/{{Frankenstein}}, or at least its ending.


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** The radio devide Ghost Dog uses to bypass electrical locks and electronics is a modernised version of the massive ring of keys from Film/LeSamourai. Jef Costello was able to to steal any Citroën DS thanks to it.
7th May '17 3:51:24 PM Jan_z_Michal
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* AnimalMotifs: a dog appears twice in the film, both times staring directly at Ghost Dog. Ghost Dog is explicitly compared to a bear by Raymond, and kills two hunters who he encounters who have killed a black bear basically because they could; [[PassingTheTorch Pearline at the very end]] has pyjamas on with a bear pattern. There's also Ghost Dog's pigeons.

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* AnimalMotifs: a A dog appears twice in the film, both times staring directly at Ghost Dog. Ghost Dog is explicitly compared to a bear by Raymond, and kills two hunters who he encounters who have killed a black bear basically because they could; [[PassingTheTorch Pearline at the very end]] has pyjamas on with a bear pattern. There's also Ghost Dog's pigeons.



* [[spoiler: BittersweetEnding]]

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* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler: BittersweetEnding]]Ghost Dog kills everyone from Ray Vargo's outfit aside his "retainer", Louie... who is ordered by Louise to kill Ghost Dog to avenge the death of her father. Pearline and Raymond witness the execution, being helpless to prevent it. But in the end of it, Ghost Dog remained loyal to his principles, Louie is fine and alive, Raymond ends up with hefty stack of money and Pearline reads up entire Hagakure]].



* BookEnds

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* BookEndsBookEnds: The film opens and closes with Hagakure quotes.



* {{Cameo}} / ActorAllusion: Gary Farmer briefly reprises his role from ''Film/DeadMan'' as a pissed-off Native American mystic who lives on a rooftop and is briefly mistaken for Ghost Dog. ''"Stupid fucking white man!"''
* ContractOnTheHitman

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* {{Cameo}} / {{Cameo}}[=/=] ActorAllusion: Gary Farmer briefly reprises his role from ''Film/DeadMan'' as a pissed-off Native American mystic who lives on a rooftop and is briefly mistaken for Ghost Dog. ''"Stupid fucking white man!"''
* ContractOnTheHitmanContractOnTheHitman: Ghost Dog was originally send to kill Handsome Frank for sleeping with Luise, Ray Vargo's daughter. Since the girl was present at the execution, things get complicated and suddenly the same Handsome Frank needs to be avenged by killing Ghost Dog. [[spoiler: He kills the entire mafia outfit on his own, sans Louie and Louise]].
-->'''Louie:''' This guy is a professional. Going after him can be very dangerous.



* GoOutWithASmile: [[spoiler:Ghost Dog.]]

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* GoOutWithASmile: [[spoiler:Ghost Dog.Dog dies happy that he remained loyal to both his boss and his own principles.]]


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* IgnoredExpert: Nobody listens to Louie's warning about Ghost Dog being highly efficient ProfessionalKiller, even if he repeats himself about it twice.


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* TheMafia: Deconstructed. Ray Vargo bankrupt his outfit by putting all the money on a trust fund for his daughter. The entire organisation is made out of old men way past their prime and they are so low on both manpower and resources they can't even fend off a landlord asking for due rent payment.


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* ShownTheirWork: Just check [[YMMV/GhostDogTheWayOfTheSamurai Genius Bonus]] for more details.
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