Tell a person you are a Metatron and they stare at you blankly. Mention something out of a Charlton Heston movie and suddenly they are a theology scholar.
A review by Mike Shea Movie Rating: ( * * * * · ) DVD Rating: ( * * * * · )
One of my most secure movie rules is that anything coming out of Kevin Smith is gold. Chasing Amy, Clerks, Mallrats, and Good Will Hunting (Kevin Smith was the producer), all are excellent movies with a depth of character that goes quite a bit beyond the normal movie. They manage to build complete stories with nothing but good dialog and you never feel the need for anything more. Dogma is different. First of all, the story of Dogma is huge, not the simple story of four characters and how their lives intertwine, but a story of earth shattering proportions. Second, the subject matter is different than any other movie I have seen. A biblical story told using modern day film. There was a ton of controversy around this film, but my knowledge of religion is so limited, I am not going to get into it here. To the best of my knowledge, it seems that the only thing it pokes fun at are the details of modern day religion, not the idea of faith which it upholds in the highest light. It also does a good job of putting itself in the proper place as the above quote shows. Kevin is far from removing himself from the material they make fun of. The acting in the movie overall isn't great. The players who we have seen before (Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith Ben Afflick, Matt Damon, Jason Lee) do their typical excellent job but the newer members (Salma Hyack, Linda Fiorentino, Alan Rickman, Chris Rock) don't seem as comfortable with the dialog Smith wrote for them. Still, Dogma is a hell of a story and a hell of a good time (so to speak). There is some wonderful interaction between Bartelby and Loki (Afflick and Damon) and Jay and Silent Bob do their typical performances, thought Jay lays it on a bit thick for my subtile tastes. The DVD is a good representation of the film with a 2.35 to 1 16x9 enhanced transfer and a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, but there are no real extras to speak of. There is a rumor of a packed special edition of the movie coming out later this year, so you may want to wait until that version comes out before buying a copy. I liked Dogma a lot, but to be honest, I didn't like it as much as the other Kevin Smith movies. I think Smith does a better job with smaller scoped stories than he does with the large ones. Still, Dogma is a fine piece of work, and a very enjoyable movie.