Alan Rickman as Metatron in Dogma (1999)

Silent Bob's Holy Fight

religion. Now the thing is is "Dogma" mocking religion and being disrespectful or is it being insightful in what it says about religion? Is it clever in the way it brings in elements of religion and "mythology" to create a modern storyline about angels and the state of religion or is it just using it to be daft? And if it is just using it to be daft is it then just a movie for fans of Kevin Smith's style rather than a generally entertaining movie? And in a way that is what it boils down to because if you get Kevin Smith and his style of humour you will probably love "Dogma" but if you don't it will end up an over rated movie.

Now "Dogma" is in fact a very simple movie which has a basic storyline of two angels stuck on Earth wanting to return to heaven but in doing so they could bring the end of the world. So in order to defeat them a special one Bethany with the assistance of a strange collection of people must make it to New Jersey to stop them whilst others want to stop Bethany from succeeding. That is "Dogma" in a very simplified and easy to follow few sentences.

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon in Dogma (1999)

But this simple story opens up in various ways and to start with we have the message which it is trying to get across. Now I have read a few interpretations of what people think "Dogma" is about from mocking religion to others saying that it is saying religion has lost its way. I'm not saying either of those or other theories are right or wrong but for me it is saying that there is religion and faith with religion having become sidetracked by various things whilst simple faith is what it is all about.

Now if I am right you could then say that Kevin Smith has made a religious movie all about the truth when believing in God but yet he seems to mock religion and Christianity. And in fairness there are elements to "Dogma" which will offend people; any movie which tries to have fun with religion is likely to offend. But at the same time there are elements to "Dogma" which in fact cleverly mock religion for having lost its way. Maybe I am wrong, maybe "Dogma" is wholly offensive to devout Christians but for me some of the humour which didn't mock Christianity but mocked religion was clever.

And in fairness Kevin Smith hasn't just take random swipes at religion, there is some amusingly clever stuff going on in "Dogma". In fact there is a lot of stuff going on in "Dogma" and whilst I had to laugh when an angel reveals that it has no genitalia I found myself inundated by jokes and ideas, and funny lines that it started to feel like a scatter gun attack.

But here is the simple fact "Dogma" is a Kevin Smith movie, it has his unique style and wit and insightful monologues and if you like Kevin Smith for this and various characters he creates you are going to love the movie. If you don't it ends up again like being hit by a scatter gun as scenes snap all over the place taking us from Loki and Bartleby to Bethany and suddenly Rufus falling from the skies. It feels like you get a minute scene which hits with you 5 rapid humorous elements wrapped up in a monologue before jumping to another which does it again and again. And sadly this makes "Dogma" a movie which becomes incessant and bordering on the headache inducing by cramming in so much in every single scene.

That just leaves the acting and it is enjoyable but it also has that feel of Kevin Smith having a laugh with his friends and bringing in various other actors in to the fold who share his same wit. It works and performances from Alan Rickman, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck to name but a few will entertain but I will say again it does become incessant because every character is full on.

What this all boils down to is that part of me likes "Dogma" because there is intelligence and humour in there but at the same time their is stupidity and failed jokes which makes it uneven. But because it is like a barrage with every single minute throwing so much at you that it feels like being shot at with a scatter gun as too much comes at you to take in.