22nd Oct2019

The Road to Reboot: ‘Dogma’ Review

by Chris Cummings

Onward we march along the View Askewniverse of Kevin Smith’s films on this Road to Reboot. We’ve reviewed Clerks, Mallrats and Chasing Amy so far, so the next stop is Dogma.

dogma-poster

I remember renting Dogma on VHS back in 1999 and loving everything about it. The story of two fallen angels who were sent to Wisconsin after being tossed out of Heaven have found a loophole that gets them back to the pearly gates, a loophole that exists in a church in New Jersey. It would, sadly, destroy humanity and be the undoing of the fabric of our universe, though, so it’s up to a ragtag crew to stop them, including the last scion, the 13th Apostle and two prophets.

A religious comedy with an awesome cast, featuring the likes of Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Salma Hayek, Alan Rickman, Chris Rock, Jason Lee and, of course, Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith, Dogma was a step in a different direction for Smith, taking a more fantastical route with this film, as opposed to the more realistic conversational films he’d previously made. It’s completely crazy too, with some of the most absurdist things Kevin Smith has ever done (unless you count Yoga Hosers, and I don’t). The controversy that surrounded the film is another thing, too, with the response from the Catholic League labelling it as “blasphemous”.

The story itself is a blast, with some fun one-liners from the likes of Jay (Mewes) and Chris Rock’s character, Rufus. The cast are great and each have something unique to bring to the table. Dogma is, without much doubt, the best cast that Kevin Smith has assembled in any of his movies. The aforementioned folks are joined, at various times in the film, by names like Janeane Garofalo, Jeff Anderson, Brian O’Halloran, George Carlin, Ethan Suplee and even Alanis Morissette. The comedy is great, and it could be argued that this is Kevin Smith’s most entertaining film. It’s understandable here that Dogma was Smith’s last burst of figuring out his “faith” and deciding that it wasn’t for him. The nudges and poking fun at religion, specifically catholicism, is vibrant and at the forefront of things for sure.

Dogma is a great movie, and one that I never get bored of going back to. From it’s tremendous cast, all of whom seem to be having a blast, and a story that, while absurd and weird and completely mad, is totally fun and sarcastic and hilarious, it’s one of Smith’s very best, easily. I mean, who doesn’t want to see golf-club assaults on demons or the introduction of Buddy Christ? A 90s comedy classic from one of the best cult filmmakers of all time. Splendid.

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