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. --Mark Englehart
The movie follows a disillusioned Catholic woman (Linda Fiorentino) on her journey, ordered by Metadron (Alan Rickman), to stop two fallen angels (Ben Affleck and Matt Damon) from reentering heaven, thus rendering God's word reversible and ending the world as we know it. Along the way, she encounters workers of God, prophets, and the missing thirteenth apostle (Chris Rock, my favorite part of the movie). I'm not going to reveal any more of the plot, except to say that Alanis Morissette makes a pretty unexpected (and funny, when you consider the absurdity of it) appearance.
The great thing about "Dogma" is that it always seems to know exactly what it's doing. There's parts when it's supposed to be screwball humor (which is most of it), and parts when it's supposed to be more serious. It blends these two perfectly together, and the result makes you laugh and think at the same time. Truthfully, not many movies can do that. Sure, some may watch it only for the appearance of Kevin Smith regulars Jay and Silent Bob (Jason Mewes and Smith himself, respectively) but if you look deeper, there's some real substance to this movie. It's not a bashing of the Catholic church; it's simply a movie that reminds you to ask questions. Highly recommended unless you're an easily offended Catholic.
Director: Kevin Smith
Cast: George Carlin ... Cardinal Ignatius Glick
Matt Damon ... Loki
Ben Affleck ... Bartleby
Linda Fiorentino ... Bethany Sloane
Jason Lee ... Azrael
Alan Rickman ... Metatron
Jason Mewes ... Jay
Kevin Smith ... Silent Bob
Chris Rock ... Rufus
Salma Hayek ... Serendipity
Tagline: "Faith is a funny thing."
Plot Summary: Here goes. Two angels who have been cast from heaven hatch a plot to thwart God's plans. Um...meanwhile, a woman who has lost her faith is commissioned by God to stop them, and she learns a lot about herself and about God in the process.
Review and Comments: There, how'd I do? It's freaking HARD to summarize what happens in this movie. Going into it, I had NO IDEA what was going to happen in this movie, and I was totally shocked by what I saw. But we'll get to that in a minute. First...
Main Entry: com•e•dy
Inflected Form(s): plural -dies
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French comedie, from Latin comoedia, from Greek kOmOidia, from kOmos revel + aeidein to sing -- more at ODE
1 a : a medieval narrative that ends happily b : a literary work written in a comic style or treating a comic theme
2 a : a drama of light and amusing character and typically with a happy ending
3 : a ludicrous or farcical event or series of events
4 a : the comic element: humorous entertainment
Now. When I pay money to watch a comedy, I expect that perhaps serious things will happen, but that overall, this things will be portrayed in a humorous light and that the proceedings will go down easy, even when said comedy contains things I probably shouldn't laugh at-i.e. things most people would find offensive.Read more ›
The humour comes thick and fast, with some absolutely classic scenes involving Damon's Loki exacting vengeance on a board meeting, Alanis Morissette's God doing handstands after defeating the apocalypse and some very very brilliant pop culture references. The acting is also crucial, with particular stand-outs including Damon's most freewheeling role yet, Fiorentino treading a fine line between the serious and the comical and Affleck proving that with the right script and a role that doesn't reek of self-satisfaction (Pearl Harbour anyone?) he can be a very likeable, good, performer. It of course goes without saying that the supporting cast is uniformally excellent.Read more ›