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movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Dogma

Starring: Ben Affleck, Chris Rock
Director: Kevin Smith
Rated: R
RunTime: 125 Minutes
Release Date: November 1999
Genres: Comedy, Religion

*Also starring: George Carlin, Matt Damon, Linda Fiorentino, Salma Hayek, Jason Lee, Alan Rickman, Janeane Garofalo, Alanis Morissette, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith

Review by Jim VanFleet
4 stars out of 4

Is it just me, or are people afraid of watching intelligent movies anymore? Honestly. We sit comfortably in theaters and watch Independence Day and Mission Impossible 2. We rent Nightmare on Elm Street 3. When a movie like Dogma comes out, we say, "I should see that one, it looks interesting . . . oops, I'm late for Just Shoot Me!" Dogma, a $10 million dollar movie from Kevin Smith, the man behind Clerks, Mallrats, and Chasing Amy, is an example of the type of movie aforementioned. A superior to Clerks, and definitely Mallrats, Dogma represents Kevin Smith's entry into the mainstream. The story goes like so: Bethany (Linda Fiorentino) is recruited by the Voice of God (Alan Rickman) to prevent two fallen angels (Matt Damon and Ben Affleck) from re-entering heaven, and, thus, " . . . negating all existence." Why? Who cares? Especially with such an eclectic cast.

Salma Hayek is a muse who now strips for quick cash, Chris Rock is the 13th apostle (ignored in the Bible because he's black), Jason Lee is a demon that wants the world to end, and Jay and Silent Bob reprise their roles from the three previous Kevin Smith films, this time as 'prophets.' The supporting cast make this film what it is. Consequently, that may also be the only flaw. Linda Fiorentino does a fine job, but she is constantly upstaged by Chris Rock, Jay and Silent Bob, and Alan Rickman. Their hilarious dialogue, along with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck's chemistry (best pal chemistry), keep the film from lagging a moment during its two-hour run. I would have liked to understand Linda's character a bit more, and I would have toned down some of the sex talk by Jay (Jason Mewes), but overall, this is easily one of the best religious pictures in years. If you like Kevin Smith's films (they're cult classics now), check this one out. If not, still check it out. Not for the kids, but this will have a warm spot in my heart for years to come.

Copyright 2000 Jim VanFleet

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