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Dogma (1999)

Get touched by an angel.

Directed by:

Kevin Smith

Rating: 10/10

Running Time: 130 minutes

US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 15

Country: United States

Underneath all the hysteria and rabid religious fanaticism that surrounded the release of Kevin Smith’s “Dogma”, there is a very personal, sweet, funny and highly entertaining movie with a serious message. Smith tries to show us that there can be a middle ground in religion, if we are only willing to step back and look at it rationally.

God has gone missing and Bethany Slone (Linda Fiorentino) has been charged, in His absence, with a sacred mission, by none other than the Metatron (Alan Rickman), A.K.A the very sarcastic voice of God. She must go to Wisconsin and stop two angels from entering through some church doors and thus negating all existence. Bethany, who is beginning to suspect she has lost her faith, has no idea why this is her problem, but upon meeting two rather suspect “apostles”, Jay and Silent Bob (Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith), she tries to rise to the occasion. The trio are joined by the thirteenth apostle, Rufus (Chris Rock) who has a chip on his shoulder about being left out of the bible because he’s black. The two angels Bethany is trying to stop are Bartleby (Ben Affleck) and Loki (Matt Damon) they just want to go back to heaven, having been thrown out for eternity for getting drunk and arguing with God. Added into the mix is the demon Azrael (Jason Lee) who was once a muse, but also got kicked out of heaven, he wants Bartleby and Loki to succeeded so that existence can end, releasing him from hell.

This is a truly wonderful movie, the performances are flawless, Alan Rickman is just brilliant and his one-liners are hysterical. Linda Florentino is very good at looking bemused and confused, while “up to her arse in Christian mythology”. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck bounce off each other as you would expect from two “guys” who have spent a millennia together. Jason Lee is great as the conniving, cowardly Azrael. Chris Rock is his usual fast talking entertaining self and Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith are a delightful double act as always, but it’s the message that makes this movie stand head and shoulders above Smiths other movies. The message being that the ideas and ideals that Christ taught that the only true way to live is to love each other is profound. While it’s true that the movie does take pot-shots at Catholicism, this is meant to highlight how far we have come from the simply message of love that religion should truly be about. Religion has become entrenched in rhetoric and mindless dogma and has forgotten the true gift of faith, love and tolerance that is at its heart. This movie is an entertaining wake up call, we must learn to tolerate and love each other, regardless of our religion. Kevin Smith should be canonised for this message not vilified.

It's Got: Alan Rickman, God, Angels, Demons and Muses.

It Needs: A little more love and tolerance from the religious fanatics.

Alternatives:

Monty Python and the Life of Brian

Summary

A highly entertaining movie, with a great script and a really important message.

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