"Stop asking questions -- just serve your purpose!"
Review by Ross Anthony

Rough around the edges, "Dogma" (as the first three letters of it's name suggest) is a feisty little pit bull barking up a stormy Judeo/Christian religious debate concerning the true nature of God while passing itself off as a joke.

George Carlin as Cardinal Glick sparks the "comedic parable" with his new "Catholic Wow!" re-imaging extravaganda. He inadvertently opens a loop whole in religious doctrine through which old testament wrath-wielding angels (Damon and Affleck) can negate all of existence.

Though, writer-director Kevin Smith calls his work a "comic fantasia" and dismisses the dogmatic discussion contained herein (with cleverly cute pre-film text) as good clean humorous fun; the film doesn't shy from sharpening its religious points. Yet, essentially it is a farce, a poke-funnery -- quite a riot really. You'll have a good time unless you're a devout catholic, or anti-abortionist, or pro-choice, or Wisconsonian or just don't like foul-mouthed teens. Kevin also does a fine job of eyeball acting as the soft-spoken Silent Bob.

While Damon and especially Affleck show off their acting prowess and ever present buddy-buddyness, lead Linda Fiorentino (Bethany) is caught at times reading her lines as is Chris Rock. But the lines are good, if even a bit speechy, and the story a captivating one chuck full of one-liners and pop-movie references to keep it rolling. Alan Rickman steals the show as God's right hand angel, though Jason Mewes' character (Jay the Prophet) is one of the best written, endearingly obscene, supporting characters to crack the screen this year.

"This is not a drill -- this is the apocalypse!"

  • Dogma. Copyright © 1999. Rated R.
  • Starring Linda Fiorentino, Alan Rickman, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Chris Rock, Jason Lee.
  • Writer/Director Kevin Smith.
  • Produced by Scott Mosier at View Askew, a Lion's Gate release.


Copyright © 1999 Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit: RossAnthony.com

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:13:20 PDT