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Title - Dogma
My Admission - $3.50
One Line Review - A religious film cannot stand on dick jokes alone.


Review -  One of the Channel 3 correspondents interviewed me as I left the theatre last night.  She was concerned that, as a Catholic, this film might upset me.  That my views of faith and religion could be skewed enough by DOGMA's content to warrant a negative response. They weren't.

However it's not a great film.

Kevin Smith, the writer/director of Mallrats, Chasing Amy, and (my favorite comedy of all time) Clerks has put together a film of well thought out religious ideas and pariodic humor.  Many of the ideas are all questions or revelations we've come to ask ourselves or have contemplated within our lifetimes; even if we can't whole-heartedly accept them as true.

Such as:
"Is God a woman?"
"Did man embellish when he wrote the Bible.  I.e.: "Jesus is a black man!!?"
"Is religious doctrine a weapon of faith?"  Belief vs. Idea.
"Do Catholics mourn their faith rather than celebrate it?"
"Where are the stories of Jesus between the ages of 12 & 30?"
"Why are women portrayed as the root of all evil?"
"If it's not in a film it's not worth knowing VS. I bring up a topic from a Charlton Heston film and suddenly your a Theology Scholar."
"Could there have been a 13th Apostle named Rufus?" "Did John Hughes sell his soul to the Devil to land Home Alone in the top 20 grossing films of all time?"

All legitimate questions.  And all are transferred from the screen to the audience from a soapbox, but the speaker can hardly be heard. It feels that quiet.  Much like Silent Bob trying to 'GIVE' (very important word) you his point of view, as a Catholic, of the religion he's experienced.  None of this is forced down your throat.  It's simply an idea given. I can't find that offensive at all.

However the continuity of the story and the delivery from the actors just stinks.  The film is really all over the place trying to flesh out each idea.  All brief and to the point with little depth.  This script is really lacking the wit and banter of Kevin Smith's earlier work. This film is a soapbox.

The delivery...Oh man...It just sucks.  The films seems like a bunch of Kevin's friends came over for the weekend to make a movie. Nobody sells a line that they believe.  It's sad.

Ok, not entirely true.  They do manage to sell some jokes.  Chris
Rock gets his real only selling point from the joke in the trailer: "I know Jesus...He owes me 12 bucks." but he doesn't sell another line.  Ben Affleck only becomes worthy when he's cracking up in a parking garage.  Matt Damon...I just don't like the guy; this film is a good example for Why.  Linda Fiorentino...Next.  Alan Rickman...A waste.  Brian O'Halloran...Another waste (bunch of savages in this town).  Alanis Morrisette...Even she can't sell God...not completely.

Now I do have to state that Jason Mewes & Kevin Smith shine as bright as always but this film can't stand on comic relief alone. Jay & Silent Bob really seem to be having a lot of fun.  In fact almost all of the vulgar humor comes straight from Jay's mouth and the tributes to films & their makers come from Silent Bob.  They're a lot of fun. But these guys have got it in for John Hughes.

So...It's not an offensive film (unless you're John Hughes).  It is a satire and not an all-together bad one.  But DOGMA isn't what it could have been.  Go warily and with good humor.


Film Challenge: Silent Bob gets a whole 3 words in this picture. 2 of those words are a direct tribute/relived dream to/from what film, actor, and director.


Movie Information

MPAA Rating:  
Executive Producer:  
Running Time:  

Turn Down The Lights, Turn Up The Sound.

Matthew Gilbert © 1999-2015 All Rights Reserved

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