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Dogma (1999)

DVD Cover (Sony Home Entertainment)
Movie Connections:
View Askewniverse
> Clerks. (1994)
> Dogma (1999)
> Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)
> Clerks II (2006)
Genres:
Comedy, Religious Comedy, Road Movie, Satire
Director:
Kevin Smith Kevin Smith
Starring:
Bud Cort Bud Cort
Barret Hackney Barret Hackney
Jared Pfennigwerth Jared Pfennigwerth
Kitao Sakurai Kitao Sakurai
George Carlin George Carlin

7.7 / 10 - Overall Rating

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The latest battle in the eternal war between Good and Evil has come to New Jersey in the late, late 20th Century. Angels, demons, apostles and prophets (of a sort) walk among the cynics and innocents of America and duke it out for the fate of humankind. --TMDb
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Review by Chad
Added: May 23, 2007
Back in my younger days, I was a huge Kevin Smith fan. I still enjoy the man's work, but back then, I was one of those kids who thought that the man could do no wrong, had a wide array of Jay quotes ready to be used in any given situation, and yes, had a rather sizable collection of merch pertaining to his first three films. Then he released Dogma, and my fan-boy status went straight down the shitter. I couldn't quite put my finger on what irked me about this movie, but there was just something about it that didn't click with me, and after watching it that one time, I never gave it another chance. Recently, I saw it languishing in the bargain bin for a mere four dollars, so I decided to pick it up and give it another shot... and boy, has my opinion changed over the years.

The storyline kicks off with Bartleby (Ben Affleck) and Loki (Matt Damon) hanging out at an airport watching other people enjoy life and convincing nuns to turn away from their religion. It's then that we learn that these are not two ordinary slackers: they're angels who have been banished from heaven due to getting on God's bad side, but now, an opportunity to get back into heaven presents itself. All they have to do is head to New Jersey and step through the doors of Cardinal Ignatius Glick's (George Carlin) new church and all of their sins will be forgiven thanks to the new policy that this particular Cardinal has instated. With their sins forgiven, they can get back into heaven and all will be good in their lives.

This brings us to Bethany Sloane (Linda Fiorentino), a nurse working at an abortion clinic. She's pretty much given up on religion due to "God never being there for her when she needed him", but that changes when Metatron (Alan Rickman) visits her one night. Metatron, you see, is the voice of God himself, and he goes on to tell her about these angels who are planning to get back into heaven. The downside to their plan is that if they succeed and wind up getting back into heaven, it will prove that God is not the infallible being that he was thought to be, and the result of this will be the end of existence as we know it. With the help of two prophets (Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith), the thirteenth apostle (Chris Rock), and a muse (Salma Hayek), Bethany sets out to stop these angels from entering the church... but will they be able to stop them?

So, yes, I was apparently one of the few people who didn't enjoy this upon its initial release. As mentioned, I couldn't pinpoint what it was that I didn't like about the film - it certainly wasn't the religious "blasphemy" that had the Catholics in an uproar, as I'm not exactly the conservative religious type (or the religious type at all, for that matter). In hindsight, I really can't see why I didn't enjoy the film: it's a smart take on the religious comedy with a damned fine script, solid acting, and most importantly, plenty of tear-inducing laughs.

What surprises me the most about the film was the amount of controversy that it generated back in its day, as there's really nothing here that should offend anyone of any religious beliefs. This movie is certainly not a long-running joke at the expense of any deity or belief, and I felt that it was actually pretty positive with all things considered. Sure, the church-going type may not be fond of the harsh language, but when it comes to actual religious mockery, I just didn't see it.

I was also pleasantly surprised by the performances of the cast, as there truly wasn't a bad one to be found from anyone involved. I suppose that that is to be expected when you consider the impressive array of talent that round out said cast, but I also enjoyed the numerous cameo appearances along the way as well. When you see Dante and Randal pop up for a few moments apiece, it's definitely a geek-out moment for all of the Clerks fan-boys watching at home, and those two guys were only the tip of the cameo iceberg.

Highly recommended for those of you who may have passed on this one, as it's definitely a classic and it still manages to pull a lot of laughs while telling an engrossing story. 9/10.
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bluemeanie #1: bluemeanie - added 05/23/2007, 09:36 AM
Kevin Smith is not one of my favorite directors, but "Dogma" is a great film. It's funny, it's smart, it's dramatic -- it does exactly what it's supposed to do. There are so many hilariously insane ideologies and references, I crack up just thinking about them. From the Buddy Christ to Alanis Morissette as God -- "Dogma" is one of my favorite comedies, and it's definitely Kevin Smith's best film. 10/10.
Tristan #2: Tristan - added 05/23/2007, 10:09 PM
I didn't like this one at first either, to be honest. But I think I was just too young to fully understand it. Watching it now, I think it's fantastic. Am I ever glad the Special Edition came down in price. That was $20 well spent.
Griffinheart #3: Griffinheart - added 09/25/2007, 10:23 PM
I saw a pretty neat rendition of Dogma as a small high school play. Hated the school that put it on, but the play itself was pretty good.
Lucid Dreams #4: Lucid Dreams - added 05/17/2010, 01:44 AM
I love how pissed off people get about this movie. 10/10
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