Saturday, May 2, 2009


1999 View Askew Productions & Lions Gate Films.
Starring: Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Linda Fiorentino, Alan Rickman, Bud Cort, Salma Hayek, Chris Rock, Jason Lee, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, George Carlin, Janeane Garofalo, Alanis Morissette
Cameos: Brian O'Halloran, Jeff Anderson
Director: Kevin Smith
Buy Dogma from Amazon.

Only in the View Askewniverse does God turn out to be Alanis Morissette. Makes me wonder what kind of significance You Can't Do That on Television has there if that's the case.

Bethany (Fiorentino) works at an abortion clinic, and she finds herself questioning her faith in religion after her husband leaves her after she realizes she cannot have children. This makes it even more confusing when a grouchy angel called Metatron (Rickman) appears before her one night and asks for her help in stopping two fallen angels:

Bartleby (Affleck) and Loki (Damon) were cast out of Heaven after Loki, formerly the Angel of Death, was persuaded by Bartleby to stop killing humans. Both of them were exiled to a place worse than Hell, which is apparently Wisconsin. See, had they been sent to New Jersey (much worse than Wisconsin, trust me!) instead, the movie's finale would have been much different. The two ex-angels hear about a church in Red Bank, New Jersey, which is headed by Cardinal Ignatius Glick (Carlin), a pompous, publicity-seeking man who launches his new form of Catholicism called "Catholicism Wow!", which discards the well-known image of Jesus on a cross in favor of the more upbeat and cheerful "Buddy Christ". If Bartleby and Loki enter this church, their sins will be forgiven, and they will be readmitted to Heaven, which would somehow overrule the word of God, which would lead to all existance getting obliterated. Bethany reluctantly accepts after being attacked by three hockey stick wielding teenagers, who attacked an elderly New Jersey man at the start of the film. These kids are agents of the muse Azrael (Lee), who is manipulating events behind the scenes to allow Bartleby and Loki back into Heaven, simply because the prospect of all existance being wiped out would be better for him than spending an eternity in Hell.

Oh, and the three kids opened the film by brutally beating John Doe Jersey (Cort) outside of a skeeball arcade, and he plays an important part in the film's conclusion.

Bethany is saved by Jay and Silent Bob (Mewes & Smith), who are in the area only because they were looking for Stieger, Illinois, the fictional Chicago suburb where many of John Hughes' films are set (they departed after their scene in Chasing Amy). Jay spends a lot of time trying to entice Bethany into bed, but she ain't having that. They are soon joined by the thirteenth apostle BrianRufus (Rock), who was left out of the Bible because he was black, and another muse called Serendipity (Hayek), who has writer's block, and has somehow become a stripper. On their way to New Jersey, Bethany finds out she is the last living relative of Jesus Christ. This information puts a rift between Bartleby and Loki, the latter realizing that all existance would be wiped out even if they did find their way back to Heaven. Bartleby simply does not care, and embarks on a murder spree enroute to Red Bank.

Meanwhile, God is somehow on Earth, and has taken human form to play skeeball. It's still up to Bethany, Rufus, Jay, Silent Bob and Serendipity to stop Azrael and Bartleby (Loki voluntarily becomes human, and gets killed by his partner outside the church) from wiping out all reality.

Highly, highly recommended.

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