Dogma

****

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

True believers have no fear. Kevin Smith is not the Devil. The 13th apostle lands WAP! on the highway, buck naked, at the feet of Bethany (Linda Fiorentino), who thought she worked in an abortion clinic, but is having doubts now. His name is Rufus (Chris Rock) and he's black, which is why he was left out of The Good Book ("Written by white guys"). JC was black, too, incidently, and he had a whole bunch of brothers and sisters no-one talks about. Bethany is his great-great-great-great-great-great-gulp!-great neice.

She is stranded on the hard shoulder with Jay and Silent Bob (the stoned duo from all Smith's films), who, unbenownest to them, have become prophets. Her mission is to stop a pair of errant angels (Ben Affleck and Matt Damon) returning to heaven before one of Lucifer's runaways (Jason Lee) puts an end to the world. And she knows - as you do by now - that there is no point in trying to make sense of it.

Smith's style (Clerks, Chasing Amy) has moved on from convenience store angst. His dialogue scorches political correctness like fire from heaven. His characters rove in that place beyond the pale, undeterred by anything remotely conventional. Dogma is different in the sense that it has a complex plot (worry not, o ye of little faith), special effects and a supernatural backspin.

He has his regulars - Affleck, Lee, Jason Mewes - and interesting new faces - Fiorentino, Rock, Salma Hayek (a Muse who works as a stripper) and Alan Rickman (the Voice of God in Versace) talking Sarff London and looking permanently wrecked. Why should a story about two angels who have been hanging around Wisconsin for aeons, bored rigid, and wanting to go home, be understandable? Mortals enjoy order, control and crosswords. If you asked God, she would tell you that the only way a fallen angel can return is by losing its wings. Why? Silent Bob is right. Shut up, sit back, let it happen.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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Dogma packshot
The last known descendant of Christ has to stop a pair of errant angels from destroying humanity.
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Director: Kevin Smith

Writer: Kevin Smith

Starring: Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Linda Fiorentino, Salma Hayek, Chris Rock, Jason Lee, Alan Rickman

Year: 1999

Runtime: 128 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US

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