Movie Review – “Dogma”

There’s no John Doe tonight, so I watched Dogma instead.

Cast, Crew, and Other Info

The cast includes Linda Fiorentino, Alan Rickman, Chris Rock, Salma
Hayek, Alanis Morissette, Jason Lee, Janeane Garofalo, George Carlin,
Jason Mewes, and writer/director Kevin Smith. The IMDB page with all
this and more can be found here.

Premise

Two angels threaten to unmake existance, and an employee of an
abortion clinic is called on to stop them.

Some people absolutely hate this movie. Most of those people are the
people that don’t believe religion should ever be the basis of comedy,
and that any attempt to joke about humour or laugh at jokes about
humour is sinful. You know your opinion of your beliefs better than I
do; you will know if your opinion of this movie will be dramatically
different from mine for this reason. Be warned. Of course, there are
other people who dislike it for entirely different reasons, but that’s
true of any movie; I just mention it here so it doesn’t sound like I’m
picking on the religious people.

High Point

The entrance of the Metatron. Alan Rickman has incredible comic
timing.

Low Point

The Golgothan. I’m not amused by the concept, and the execution
looked terrible.

The Scores

This is the only religion-inspired film I’ve ever seen that was
anywhere close to funny. This is, on the surface at least, a comedy,
and a pretty low-brow one at that. Add in a storyline with an
abnormal take on religious dogma, and you’ve got a pretty
original piece of work. I give it 5 out of 6, restrained
only by the use of some jokes we’ve seen in other View Askew outings.

The effects ranged from decent to remarkably poor. Most of
them were simply unconvincing. The Golgothan looked plastic, the
wings moved like they were the mechanical puppets they were (unless
they were the all-too-glossy CGI wings), and the runway the Metatron
walked on in the pond was plainly visible. The golf club attack, the
destruction of the wings, and the effects on the bridge were among the
few that were truly well done. I give it 3 out of 6.

The story was well written, with some interesting hooks and
revelations that were well timed. The only awkward moment was
Azrael’s exposition, but the Bond joke near the end makes up for it.
I give it 5 out of 6.

The acting from Linda Fiorentino, Salma Hayek, Jason Mewes,
and most of the rest of the cast was decent through most of the film,
but lacking at times. (This is odd in Jason’s case, since that
character was based on him and shouldn’t require any acting ability at
all.) Alan Rickman, Matt Damon, and (surpringly, to me anyway) Ben
Affleck all do excellent jobs. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response this produced was primarily large
quantities of laughter. Since this is all a comedy generally shoots
for, that’s enough for a high score. I give it 5 out of 6.

The production was adequate, but lacked real punch in
places. The first two action sequences were handled off screen, and
then the last few were on screen, creating something of a mishmash.
(My first impression was that the filmmakers didn’t know how to shoot
those sequences; listening to the commentary later confirmed this.)
Most of the film is conversation, which is hard to shoot badly, so it
still does well. I give it 4 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a flawed film, but more importantly, it’s a
comedy film that makes me laugh every time I watch it. It succeeds at
its most important goal, and it does so very well, so I give it 5 out
of 6.

In total, Dogma receives 32 out of 42.

8 replies on “Movie Review – “Dogma””

  1. max_quordlepleen says:

    Brian

    Hey, can’t forget about Life of Brian. That’s a religious comedy that makes me laugh. If you haven’t seen it – it’s worth checking out.

    Dogma is pretty cool too…

    • Babbster says:

      Re: Brian

      Hey, can’t forget about Life of Brian. That’s a religious comedy that makes me laugh. If you haven’t seen it – it’s worth checking out.

      Dogma is pretty cool too…

      I’m always looking on the bright side of life ::whistles::.

      It’s particularly worth checking out LoB on the Criterion DVD – the extras are just bloody marvelous, particularly the documentary they did about the making of the movie.

      • Radish03 says:

        Re: Brian

        It’s particularly worth checking out LoB on the Criterion DVD – the extras are just bloody marvelous, particularly the documentary they did about the making of the movie.

        Indeed. The Python’s comentary is hilarious, especially the commentary about the deleted scenes.

        • Lurch_Kimded says:

          Re: Brian

          Indeed. The Python’s comentary is hilarious, especially the commentary about the deleted scenes.

          Comentary…. deleted scenes…. pant…

          Which version is this of which you kind people speak, and is it Region 1 only? I must know, for I am far too much a Fan Boy for my own good… Ni! ;-)

          Whats worse is that I bought the new widescreen version this weekend… curses!!

          • GrimSean says:

            Re: Brian

            Comentary…. deleted scenes…. pant…

            Which version is this of which you kind people speak, and is it Region 1 only? I must know, for I am far too much a Fan Boy for my own good… Ni! ;-)

            Whats worse is that I bought the new widescreen version this weekend… curses!!

            I believe it would be this version of which they speak. Quite honestly Criterion consistently puts out great DVDs, making them worth the horrendous cost (approx $50+ CAN, though some are lower). They tend to have very good commentary (either from the director/producer/actors, or an authority on the genre/director) along with beautiful transfers, especially of the older Black and White movies.

  2. UncleJam says:

    I’m one of those
    …who hated it for different reasons.

    Completely apart from the fact that Kevin Smith, while a decent enough writer and director, is one of the most over-hyped filmmakers today, this film just was not funny.

    I couldn’t care less if a writer chooses to make fun of religion but if you’re going to do that, you’d better damn sure make it funny! (I guess that goes for any subject as well, not just religion) I don’t think I laughed or even chuckled a single time during this flick. I had to force myself to even finish it. Most of Smith’s films are heavily self-indulgent, but this one takes it to an extreme. It should never have been made and I’m convinced the only reason it ever was, was due to Kevin Smith’s name.

    IMO, this is one of the absolute worst movies I’ve ever seen. I’ve never seen Battlefield: Earth, but I bet I’d like it better than Dogma. Hell, I’d watch just about anything else put on film in the entire history of cinema before I ever looked at this steaming pile of crap again.

    • PerlStalker says:

      Re: I’m one of those

      IMO, this is one of the absolute worst movies I’ve ever
      seen.

      I’d actually have to say that the worst movie ever is
      Nothing but Trouble starring Dan Akroyd, Tom Hanks
      and John Candy. (The lead actress in the movie is “famous”
      too but I can’t remember her name.) It felt like I was being
      tortured through the whole thing. The whole time, I was
      thinking that a movie with the afore mentioned actors just
      had to get better/be funny at some point. I
      havn’t seen Dogma or Battlefield: Earth and don’t
      plan to.

      • eclectric says:

        Re: I’m one of those

        IMO, this is one of the absolute worst movies I’ve ever
        seen.

        I’d actually have to say that the worst movie ever is
        Nothing but Trouble starring Dan Akroyd, Tom Hanks
        and John Candy. (The lead actress in the movie is “famous”
        too but I can’t remember her name.)

        Actually, this has Chevy Chase, not Tom Hanks. The actress you are thinking of is Demi Moore

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