(By None)

(Matt Damon; Ben Affleck; Linda Fiorentino; Salma Hayek)
by None

    Let me begin by saying simply that Dogma is a very different type of comedy. It's not for those easily offended, or any devout Christians out there who happen to be reading this. (Ha ha, yea right) Anyways, this self-defined "comic fantasy" (by writer/director/co-star Kevin Smith) basically insults every aspect of modern-day religion- often with hilarious results. The movie is set at a smooth and easy pace, no rushes, good setups, and good punch lines.

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Affleck and Damon are the two that could end the
world as we know it.

    The story is pretty complicated, but it unfolds nicely and makes it easy to understand. Basically, Bartleby and Loki, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, respectively, are fallen angels who have been banished from heaven for over 2,000 years. However, with the re-invention of the Catholic Church (a new image: Catholicism Wow!), the pair finds a loophole which would allow them to re-enter heaven simply by walking through the church doorway the day it reopens. The idea is this: The church reflects God's will, thus, the blessing of the two will override God's initial wish in having Bartleby and Loki banished. The problem is this: By walking through the gates and back into heaven, the two fallen angels prove the word of God wrong. By the Bible, God is never wrong, thus His being proved wrong would turn everything inside out; civilization as we know it would cease to exist.

    That's where Bethany Sloan (Linda Fiorentino) comes in. Bethany, the last descendant of Jesus who happens to work at an abortion clinic, is sent on a mission by an angel to stop Bartleby and Loki from entering that church. She doesn't know why she's being picked, but complies after going through a couple of events. Her journey is what Dogma is all about, as she will meet with a couple of prophets (Jason Mewes and Smith), a Muse (Salma Hayek), the 13th and forgotten black apostle (Chris Rock), who all will try and help her to accomplish the mission to stop the two fallen angels

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It's up to these unlikely people to stop them
before we're done for.

    There are some classic moments in Dogma that will not be forgotten anytime soon. I won't ruin any surprises for you, as there are quite a bit of them that caused laugh riots. The actors in it seem to be perfectly cast for the style of script, and each role is a supplement to the movie. Affleck and Damon are both believable in their semi-bad, semi-innocent roles, and their journey to the church is every bit as interesting as the one made by those looking to capture them. While I didn't like Jason Lee as the bad guy in the movie, he is simply a part of a running domino chain that puts everything together.

    Dogma isn't the traditional comedy you might expect from a big studio. (It is, after all, an independent production) Many of the cheap laughs aren't there, and there are substantiated periods of time where the story moves on sans jokes. It is sacrificed for the development of the engrossing storyline, which is often nonexistent in any comedy. This is a very intelligent and adultish comedy, and it does drift a little into drama. Although, you should know, in terms of the type or class of comedy Dogma is in, it is light-years away from say... Deuce Bigalow, Male Gigolo. Dogma is different, but it's a very, very funny movie.

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Bethany Sloan (Fiorentino) about
to open a can of whup-ass.

Overall Rating: B+
It could have been funnier, but by focusing more on the storyline, Dogma becomes a very intelligent comedy. It is an exchange that ultimately makes the movie more satisfying.

Babe-o-meter: B+
-- Salma Hayek's assets get plenty of screen time, as she plays a muse-turned-bar dancer. Linda Fiorentino is basically the main character, and she's pretty attractive. However, besides these two (and that isn't bad), there is basically no other female role in the film... almost.