ming movie reviews

in about 100 words or less

Dogma (1999)

US 130m, Colour
Director: Kevin Smith; Cast: Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Linda Fiorentino, Alan Rickman, Bud Cort, Salma Hayek, Chris Rock, Jason Lee, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, George Carlin, Janeane Garofalo, Alanis Morissette

As the fourth film in the View Askewniverse, Dogma lampoons Catholicism by inventing a fictional campaign from which the Catholic Church hopes to update itself by retiring the symbol of the cross and re-branding Jesus as “Buddy Christ”. The plot revolves around two fallen angels who plan to re-enter heaven by exploiting a loophole in Catholic Dogma which, as a side effect would prove god fallible and jeopardize the existence of creation. Of all of Smith’s films, Dogma is one of the most sophisticated and creative productions, and boasts an impressive cast who deliver some pretty credible performances, which is noteworthy, considering this film also contains a “Shit Demon” that is born in the toilet of a strip bar. Despite the controversy surrounding the film, and the death threats against Smith, the film’s message is ironically in support of faith in general – apparently something which the film’s detractors missed – probably because they were too busy condemning a film they never bothered to watch (Klaus Ming April 2011).


4 comments on “Dogma (1999)

  1. movie guy steve

    This is my favorite Kevin Smith film, in part because the dogma it depicts is dead-on.

  2. Anthony Lee Collins

    I agree, definitely my favorite as well. It may be, as you say, that it got slammed even though it is not anti-religion, but I think his point about the difference between and “idea” and a “belief” may have rubbed some people the wrong way (those who did actually see it).

    Plus it’s really funny. And really well written, as I talked about here (after “stories to think about”):

    • Klaus

      Hey Anthony, thanks for the recent plug on your site about my efforts to work my way through Kevin Smith’s films.

      With regard to your interesting comment about Bethany’s backstory story – being answered by the end of the movie, with little to no attention paid to the fact – there is a deleted scene on the DVD with her and a young woman who she is counseling which does fully explain her backstory. It being cut from the theatrical release is testament to the quality writing as you describe in your blog post.

      By the way, I attempted to post a thank you on your blog, but was unable to – I’m not sure if you have comments disabled?

  3. Anthony Lee Collins

    1) Leaving things out is one of the biggest things in writing. I remember there’s a deleted scene on the DVD of Gone Baby Gone (recommended, BTW — the movie, not the scene) where a voiceover tells the audience the point of the movie. Affleck was smart, though, he left it out of the picture.

    2) My blog is not at wordpress.com (it’s self-hosted), so you’d need to register to leave comments. I used to run a “mirror” version here at wordpress.com, but then I heard that’s against the rules (running a blog here in order to drive people to a blog that isn’t here), so I took it down.

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This entry was posted on 04/03/2011 by in 1990s, All, Unlisted and tagged .
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