on 27 October 2003
I'm Catholic, and I loved this film. should anyone be offended, it is people of Wisconsin, not us Catholics. The film is full of clever lines referring to Christian mythology and theology, and despite the disclaimer which says that it is merely a comedy, there are some referrence to issues that dog modern catholics. While it is not 'religious film' per se, it certainly reflects practical problems the Catholics face today. That said, the film is actually funnier for us for we understand them better, and throughly enjoyable. Well acted (yes, Alan Richman is in his funniest) and fast paced, I can recommend it to anyone. After several viewing however I began to notice some inconsistencies in the plot, but this is a very minor flaw. I still don't get God's sense of humour in the end though ...
on 11 June 2004
This is a smart comedy about religion and the Church. We find a great cast of different stars playing God, angels, demons, muses, prophets and apostles. I can understand that for some people religion is a very serious issue and that these individuals may take offense in this movie. However, if you do no belong in this group, I highly recommend you to watch this film, since I am sure you will have a great time.
The Church is in a renewal process and seeking to attract people to enlarge its flock. Some of the changes involve revamping the depressing image in the crucifix for a smiling, winking and thumbs-up Christ. Also, a Church in New Jersey decreed a day in which everyone that passes through its gates will be cleansed of all sins and forgiven by God. Loki (Matt Damon) and Bartleby (Ben Affleck) are two angles that have incurred in God's wrath and therefore were expelled from heaven and condemned to live in Wisconsin from the rest of their eternal lives. They see this as an opportunity to be forgiven and allowed to return to heaven.
The path to their destination is not an easy one though, since by achieving their forgiveness they would prove God wrong, and existence will cease because it is based on the fact that God is always right. Therefore, Loki's and Bartleby's journey affects a large number of people and other mystic figures. There are two sides to the conflict, those that want to prevent them from getting to their destination, and those that want to help them and create chaos. Among muses, demons, the thirteenth apostle and a Golgothan, which by the way is super gross, we find a woman named Bethany (Linda Fiorentino). She is at a tough stage in her life and has almost lost her faith, but is requested by Metathron, the voice of God, to stop the two angels in their quest.
The way in which the film questions some of the beliefs of religion is smart and funny, and the talented cast help make this a very pleasant experience. For example, Chris Rock in his role of the thirteenth apostle is hilarious, showing his usual sense of humor with quick and witty jokes. I also found interesting the questioning of God's sex and Jesus race, which I think spices up several scenes throughout the movie and allows for some very funny moments.
on 28 November 2011
There maybe religious people out there who will criticize this film as being anti-religion, anti-Catholicism, when it is anything but (well, a little anti-Catholic maybe). The central theme to the film is that there is a God, but not the God that most people know (or think they know) or believe in. She Canadian! The characters in the film are trying to get the message across that people have changed the original God, man has made God into the image they want him/her to be, made their own religious rules, rules that God never intended. From a strictly biblical standpoint, Smith is right on, which not something that can be said about many films is dealing with religion. And isn't that the entire point to Christianity, that it's based on the bible.
But when the opening text: including the Disclaimer: 1) a renunciation of any claim to or connection with; 2) disavowal; 3) a statement made to save one's own ass.
You know on are on to a winner!!
on 19 January 2003
I'm not sure how many people have ever questioned religion, rather than just accept the brainwashing that they receive from their years in school. However, if I could, I would broadcast many of the monologues on TV right after 'Songs of Praise' on a Sunday morning (probably minus the profanity) in an anarchic fugue, just to see how many blue-rinsed old ladies would re-assess their faith.
Kevin Smith's Dogma wrestles with some heavy religious issues in one of the unlikeliest places on earth - New Jersey! Two outcast Angels, Bartleby and Loki discover a loophole in God's decree that will enable them to re-enter heaven, simply by walking through the doors of a church in New Jersy. However, as God is infallible, this causes a paradox that will cause existence to collapse upon itself. Don't worry if this is confusing - it's only the plot.
Meanwhile, oblivious to the impending catastrophe, Bethany is visited by the Metatron (What do you mean you've never heard of him? The Metatron is the voice of God!) who charges her with a mission - namely to stop the two angels from entering the church.
Along the way, Bethany is accompanied by two 'prophets', namely Jay and Silent Bob, (who provide more profanity and controversy to the film than the whole 'Organised Religion is Dumb' viewpoint), the thirteenth apostle Rufus, who was left out of the bible beause he was black (played by Chris Rock), and Serendipidy, a muse who opted for a life on earth and ended up as a dancer in a strip-joint. As if that wasn't bad enough, Bethany's journey also has various obstacles, one of them in the form of a demon, Azrael and his three pre-pubescent grunged-out lesser demons.
There's loads of swearing, violence, full frontal nudity (mercifully, however, angels don't have genetalia), fire, brimstone, and an actual message to the masses about what the Christian religion has mutated into in the last 2000 years. Despite this, however, (or in addition to it, depending on the sort of film you watch), it still maintains a refreshingly honest and ironic look at Christian values, and the Church, without actually insulting Christianity. In other words, God is Good, but the it's priests are the ones who wear the dresses and make the rules in his name). Regardless of whether you want a thought-provoking film, or a brainless comedy, Dogma is definitely worth a look.
on 9 December 2000
Watched this DVD whilst visiting family in USA. Very, very, funny. I was initially not too surprised to hear that it upset a lot of Christians with tunnel vision. I was surprised that it did once I had watched it all the way through, for despite the nature of the whole flick the character of "God" comes out favourably in the end.
You will see that it does not abuse Christianity per-se, but all organised religions that use belief as an excuse to feel superior and cause violence against others who don't follow their particular brand of belief.
Bottom line though, it's a very funny, clever comedy but those easily offended by language or the subject matter should avoid.
on 21 January 2001
Picture the scene: It's late one summers night, and literally hundreds of people are sat out in a field, eyes raised upwards in expectation. Are they waiting for the second coming? Or are they a relligious cult waiting for their ride to their new home planet?
None of these. They're all sat in front of the big screen at the Glastonbury 2000 open air cinema, and they're all waiting for Dogma to start. And not one of them appeared to go away unsatisfied. They could have been watching one of the bands, or dancing in the tent or up at the Glade, but they voted with their feet and went to watch this fantastically funny, well thought out movie.
I don't agree with the Amazon reviewers comments above, the reviews above seem to think the film better than that review, and the hundreds of people who sat laughing out loud for two hours didn't seem to agree. So what if some of the shots are a bit patchy? If it's a triumph of style over substance you're after, go buy Titanic. If you're after something clever, different, thought provoking and exremely funny, get your plastic out and buy this. You aren't going to regret it.
on 8 August 2009
This film is an attempt, in my view a successful one, to entertain using a well known series of Roman Catholic IDEAS (not beliefs). There are plenty of films exploring religion and Christianity in particular but this isn't one of them so don't expect any moment of conversion to result from viewing it.
Severus Snape is great in this film (who knew!)and I have to say I liked all the characters and wouldn't miss out any of them in a sequel. Having said that I hope there isn't a sequel because the premise is really only good the once.
I enjoyed this film from the moment it began with the outcast angels through all the stuff in the middle (there's a nice bit when one of the prophets laughs knowingly, we think, only to discover it's just that he's finally worked out the joke about the the holy bartender)to the great ending when we find out if God is a man or a woman and get to witness what happens to humans who hear God's voice (hence why the "Voice of God" has a leading part to play in Heaven).
on 16 April 2006
This film has a pretty complex plot, but the basic premise is that two angels (played by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck) have been cast out of heaven and condemned to spend the rest of eternity in Wisconsin. They believe that they have discovered a loophole which will allow them to get back into heaven, but if they succeed in carrying out their plan, it would actually result in the destruction of the universe. The movie draws heavily on Catholic mythology and contains some interesting twists on it (such as the fact that the 13th disciple, was written out of the Bible because he was black) - which prompted some mindless controversy on the film's release. This isn't an outstanding film, but it's entertaining, very original and quite thought-provoking. Also, it features Alanis Morissette as God, which is probably one of the most brilliant and inspired pieces of casting in the history of cinema.
on 19 March 2002
Kevin Smith returns with his 4th View Askew film, and by far the most intelligent yet. Many people praise the script writing of Smith, but often criticise his filming style. But Smith's way of presenting scenes as a series of funny sketches (many can be watched as stand alone scenes and still be hilariously funny) and sometimes pointless banter between his characters helps to breakdown the overall seriousness that people might take offense to, and reinforces that the film is just a work of comic fiction.
The film is packed with top supporting stars(Alan Rickman, Chris Rock, Salma Hayek, Jason Lee) that Smith continuously seems to be able to attract; and not forgetting the return of Jay and Silent Bob (played by the hilariously big mouthed fast talking Jason Mewes and Smith himself). This is a watch again and again film that is a superbly well written and suitably filmed installment of the View Askew films, that every Kevin Smith fan should own!
on 2 February 2008
This film is absolutely sensational! I loved it...a thought provoking, extremely witty and laugh out loud film where Alan Rickman's natural sarcasm fits perfectly! So glad it's available on DVD. Highly recommended if you're sitting on the fence with regards religion - in that it'll either send you one way or t'other! Thanks Kevin Smith!