Movie of the Week: Dogma (1999)

Kevin Smith directs Linda Fiorentino, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon in this religious satire road movie where two fallen angels threaten reality by trying to cross the threshold of a cathedral in New Jersey.

This felt like a pretty big deal the Christmas it came out. Released under the weight of controversy and possible censorship, Smith’s one true play to capitalise on the critical goodwill generated by Chasing Amy and become a serious filmmaker… plus it saw the Good Will Hunting stars reunited. And already being a big fan of what was becoming the View Askew universe, I lapped it up. Laughed my arse off, spotted the Easter eggs and chewed over the smarter ideas. Flaws and all, it still holds up strong. Smith trying to be a more visually astute moviemaker falls flat but you can at least see the effort to try and match the budget in his generally dull, talky compositions. It can feel very much like a foul mouthed theology lesson from scene to scene. Alan Rickman, Chris Rock and Salma Hayek all serve the same purpose… to dump reams of obscure Christian mythology at you. But who wouldn’t want to see any of those three actors thump out pages of dialogue? Hayek even does a very hot baby pink striptease that is worth the admission price alone. For the Smith faithful Jay and Silent Bob get plenty of good bits of business and Jason Lee is gifted with one of his better roles. There’s a lot to savour and unpack here. It is very much my jam. I doubt other generations will care about the cameos and dirty humour of it… but like all of Smith’s earlier, funnier ones… this feels tailor made for me.

8

Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog https://cornsyrup.co.uk

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/

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