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Film Review: Dogma

Trekkies have a common philosophy that it's only safe to see every second film in the series, because the rest are b****cks. With the release of Dogma, it appears that director Kevin Smith is following the same formula.

Given its "blasphemous" overtones religious groups have picketed cinemas in the U.S. showing the film and - predictably - few protestors have actually seen the movie (for if they had, they'd know the easiest way to turn people against it would be to let them pay $10 for the screening).

The basic story goes like this: Loki and Bartleby (Matt Damon and Ben Affleck) are two angels kicked out of heaven for questioning The Almighty, but find themselves with a loophole by which they'll be able to sneak back through the Pearly Gates. God, of course, lines up a group to stop them, including Bethany (Linda Fiorentino), Kevin Smith regulars Jay and Silent Bob plus a few other notables played by Alan Rickman, Chris Rock and Salma Hayek. Whatever.

In some ways it is difficult pinning down exactly why this film is so grating. The star-studded cast are actually in fine form, the problem is everything else. Whereas Clerks and Chasing Amy (Smith films # 1 & 3, by the way) featured entertaining stretches of dialogue, whatever the topic, here it's just soundbite after soundbite - no plot, nothing funny. Like a bad comic book.

You - especially you - should not see this film. But just in case you're still curious about the ending click here for a CLUAS plot spoiler.

Reading various advertisements for Dogma I found the following: "Hysterical", "Comedy of the Year", "Incredibly Funny", "Wonderful", "Hilarious". Rubbish! It's shite.

Ian Stalvies

(bullet) 'Dogma' went on general release in Ireland on Jan 7, 2000.

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