29-year-old writer/director Kevin Smith – who made the wonderful Clerks and Chasing Amy and the slightly less wonderful Mallrats – here tackles the subject of religion with a wickedly humorous touch that unsurprisingly offended some Catholic groups when the film was released in the US.
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck star as Loki and Bartleby – two fallen angels who discover there’s a loophole in church dogma that will allow them back into heaven.
The pair have been living in Wisconsin for nearly 2,000 years, so life has been dull – until they start shooting sinners they catch in acts of commandment-breaking.
When God realises the Earth will cease to exist if the duo are successful, less-than-happy angel Metatron (Alan Rickman) is dispatched to thwart their scheme.
In the company of abortion clinic counsellor Bethany (Linda Fiorentino) – who may be a descendant of Jesus Christ – and a smartass named Rufus (Chris Rock), unheralded as the 13th apostle because he’s black, the angels head to a New Jersey church for an audience with God, who’s played, as a mute, by Alanis Morissette.
While the film doesn’t work on every level, Smith has once again delivered a unique script and there are some terrifically funny performances.
One of the most original films of the decade, Dogma is not to be missed.
John Doe Jersey