Apr 2, 2010

[Movies] Dogma (1999)

Dogma (1999)As the Holy Week starts to wrap up, I'm still pushing on with my pseudo religious theme of entries, although today I'm taking a rather predictable turn. Friday, after all, is the day I reserve for older movie reviews and so what movie comes to mind in terms of what a geek might cite as a entry that could connect to Holy Week?

Yeah, you know the one that I'm talking about. That one exactly,

The Christian religion may not be the most dominant in terms of population, but it is certainly one of the loudest given the passion for the pulpit many of its followers develop over time. Almost everyone on the planet knows at least something about the Christian faith and the classic tales of Jesus and his apostles or at least about key concepts from the religion like the angels, the demons and devils and all the good stuff in-between.

Thus it becomes a prime target for parody and satire in so many ways.

Dogma was the irreverent Kevin Smith comedy that pretty much laughs in the face of Christian and Catholic faiths all in the name of a good laugh.

LAS VEGAS - JULY 02:  Actors Ben Affleck (L) a...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

In the movie, the fallen angels Loki (Matt Damon) and Bartleby (Ben Affleck) finally find a way to get back into Heaven after being cast out. It appears that the a church in New Jersey has decided to offer the faithful a plenary indulgence in celebration of their centennial. If the two angels pass through the doors of the Church, their sins would be forgiven, thus annuling God's banishment and proving him fallible. To do this would doom all of Creation if only in the name of getting back into the most promised of lands.

Thus it falls upon an abortion clinic worker named Bethany (Linda Florentino) to stop the two fallen angels as instructed by the seraph Metatron (Alan Rickman). Along the way she meets a most unlikely crew including the prophets Jay and Silent Bob (Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith respectively), Rufus (Chris Rock), who is the 13th apostle that also happens to be black and the muse-turned-stripper Serendipity (Salma Hayek), who suffers from writer's block. The whole group now need to venture across the country in order to stop Loki and Bartleby while dodging the other forces trying to stop them.

I know, it's a pretty crazy plot, but what do you expect from the uniquely creative mind of Kevin Smith, right? But the plot sort of holds water if you know a decent amount about Catholic history in particular since plenary indulgences were rampant in the days when forgiveness of one's since was easily purchased from the Church in that manner.

The movie funny but not quite the ha-ha-ha-shallow kind of funny but more the he-he-he-okay-I-get-the joke kind of funny, which is more intelligent but not necessarily the kind of humor that will bowl you over and quite literally have you laughing out loud. But then I find all Kevin Smith movies this way and it's both a good and a bad thing depending on what you're looking for. It keeps the movie interesting but it does sometimes backfire for people and they end up finding it more difficult than necessary to enjoy the movie or even finish it.

The movie is just crazily overloaded with celebrity cameos and appearances, which gives the movie a nice feeling of novelty to it without becoming too serious or too heavy. It's the kind of script that knows when to laugh at its own absurdity while still bringing the viewer along for the ride in order to see the end of things.

Dogma is probably not the best thing to watch during the Holy Week but if your family doesn't take too close a look at what's your on LCD screen, then maybe you'll get away with it. After all, it does feature angels with nice fluffy wins and a few vanquished demons and fell beasts here and there. This movie gets 3.5 holy golf clubs out of 5.

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