Bomb Rating: 

The last person I need sanctimonious crap from is Kevin Smith, and that's all "Dogma" really is -- sanctimonious crap. Smith has a very basic problem: He wants to tackle intelligent issues -- like religion -- but a huge portion of his fans are blithering stoned idiots along the lines of Jay (Jason Mewes) who go to his movies solely to see Jay and Silent Bob (Kevin Smith).

His solution to this problem is pages and pages of dialogue where the characters explain all this stuff about Christianity, so that the Jay and Silent Bob fans might actually learn something that doesn't involve bongs or Camaros. Naturally, these explanations are sprinkled with enough clever expletives to keep them amused while they're learning, sort of like wrapping your dog's deworming pill in a piece of ham. However, what those of us who don't require preaching see is two hours of incredibly patronizing proselytization. This entire movie consists of Kevin Smith talking down to his fans.

The story has to do with fallen angels Bartleby (Ben Affleck) and Loki (Matt Damon) finding a loophole via Cardinal Glick (George Carlin) that will allow them to get back into heaven. Unfortunately, getting back into heaven would prove that God is fallible. Metatron (Alan Rickman) comes down from heaven and informs Bethany (Linda Fiorentino) that she's been chosen to stop Bartleby and Loki, and that she'll be accompanied by two prophets, who turn out to be Jay and Silent Bob. Also along for the ride is the 13th apostle, Rufus (Chris Rock).

Ultimately, Kevin Smith is no better than the proprietors of organized religion whom he so enjoys skewering. They want to have their cake and eat it too, as does Smith. Kevin wants to hang on to his weenie little liberal values but also be a kick-ass dude in the eyes of the Almighty. He wants all his liberal friends to get to have their gay God and their female God and their black God. He's also made a film that's more or less an advertisement for the good-old-fashioned God. The Church does its converting with guilt. Smith does his with cursing, crudeness and weak-ass pandering. They might as well be in bed together, because I don't see much of a difference.

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