Starring: Linda Fiorentino, Ben Affleck,
Director: Scott Mosier, Kevin Smith
Info | Buy online Dogma DVD
Do you know what makes a human being decent?
The fourth movie by writer/actor/director Kevin Smith, 1999's
"Dogma", is a hilarious look into the ideology behind organized
religion, specifically Catholicism. With a great cast and laugh-out-loud
humor, you can not go wrong with this movie.
The storyline of the movie is pretty interesting: Two angels (Ben Affleck
and Matt Damon) are trying to re-enter Heaven through the usage of a loop
hole in Catholic Dogma. Their re-entrance would mean the end of existance.
The movie brings in and questions many of the beliefs behind religion,
such as the gender of God (played by Alanis Morissette), the ethnicity
of Jesus (as told by Chris Rock's character, Rufus, the 13th apostle),
descendants of Christ (Linda Fiorentino), and the infallibility of God
(as told by the Voice Of God, played by Alan Rickman).
The best part of this movie, as well as the other Kevin Smith movies,
is the involvement of Jay And Silent Bob (played by Jason Mewes and Kevin
Smith, respectively). Jay's vulgar mouth and passion for getting high
combined with the mystery of Silent Bob just makes the movie all the more
funnier and entertaining.
This movie is a comedy delight for those who love this kind of humor (pot
jokes, swearing, and all around stupidity). If you like this movie, you
should also check out the Kevin Smith movie "Mallrats".
Kevin Smith is a conundrum of a filmmaker: he's a writer
with brilliant, clever ideas who can't set up a simple shot to save his
life. It was fine back when Smith was making low-budget films like Clerks
and Chasing Amy, both of which had an amiable, grungy feel to them, but
now that he's a rising director who's attracting top talent and tackling
bigger themes, it might behoove him to polish his filmmaking. That's the
main problem with Dogma--it's an ambitious, funny, aggressively intelligent
film about modern-day religion, but while Smith's writing has matured
significantly (anyone who thinks he's not topnotch should take a look
at Chasing Amy), his direction hasn't. It's too bad, because Dogma is
ripe for near-classic status in its theological satire, which is hardly
as blasphemous as the protests that greeted the movie would lead you to
Two banished angels (Ben Affleck and Matt Damon) have discovered a loophole
that would allow them back into heaven; problem is, they'd destroy civilization
in the process by proving God fallible. It's up to Bethany (Linda Fiorentino),
a lapsed Catholic who works in an abortion clinic, to save the day, with
some help from two so-called prophets (Smith and Jason Mewes, as their
perennial characters Jay and Silent Bob), the heretofore unknown 13th
apostle (Chris Rock), and a sexy, heavenly muse (the sublime Salma Hayek,
who almost single-handedly steals the film). In some ways Dogma is a shaggy
dog of a road movie--which hits a comic peak when Affleck and Fiorentino
banter drunkenly on a train to New Jersey, not realizing they're mortal
enemies--and segues into a comedy-action flick as the vengeful angels
(who have a taste for blood) try to make their way into heaven. Smith's
cast is exceptional--with Fiorentino lending a sardonic gravity to the
proceedings, and Jason Lee smirking evilly as the horned devil Azrael--and
the film shuffles good-naturedly to its climax (featuring Alanis Morissette
as a beatifically silent God), but it just looks so unrelentingly... subpar.
Credit Smith with being a daring writer but a less-than-stellar director.