Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Kevin Smith|
|Produced by||Scott Mosier|
|Written by||Kevin Smith|
|Music by||Howard Shore|
|Editing by||Scott Mosier|
|Studio||View Askew Productions|
|Distributed by||Lions Gate Entertainment|
|Release date(s)||*November 12, 1999|
|Running time||128 minutes|
Dogma is a 1999 American adventure fantasy comedy film written and directed by Kevin Smith, who also stars in the film along with an ensemble cast that includes Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Linda Fiorentino, Alan Rickman, Bud Cort, Salma Hayek, Chris Rock, Jason Lee, George Carlin, Janeane Garofalo, Alanis Morissette, and Jason Mewes.
The fourth film set in the View Askewniverse is a hypothetical-scenario film revolving around the Catholic Church and Catholic belief, which caused organized protests and much controversy in many countries, delaying release of the film and leading to at least two death threats against Smith. The film follows twofallen angels, Loki and Bartleby, who, through a loophole in Catholic dogma, find a way to get back into Heaven after being cast out by God. However, as existence is founded on the principle that God is infallible, their success would prove God wrong and thus undo all creation. The last scion and two prophets are sent by the Voice of God to stop them.
Two fallen angels, Bartleby (Affleck) and Loki (Damon), were banished from Heaven after an inebriated Loki, with Bartleby's encouragement, resigned as the Angel of Death. Exiled to Wisconsin, the pair see their salvation when a church in Red Bank, New Jersey celebrates its centennial anniversary with a plenary indulgence. They can have their sins forgiven by passing through the doors of that church, and—upon death—regain access to Heaven. They fail to realize that this will overrule the word of God and destroy existence.
Metatron, aka the Voice of God
Metatron (Rickman), the Voice of God, appears to Bethany Sloane (Fiorentino) and tasks her with preventing Bartleby and Loki's return. Bethany resists the mission, as she lost her faith in God due to her infertility and resultant divorce. Bethany is attacked by the Stygian Triplets, but is saved by Jay and Silent Bob (Mewes and Smith), two prophets whom Metatron said would appear. She is also aided by Rufus (Rock), the thirteenth apostle, and Serendipity (Hayek), a Muse with writer's block.
The demon Azrael (Lee), a former Muse, warns Bartleby and Loki that the forces of Heaven and Hell are attempting to kill them, as Satan will not let them succeed where he has failed. Bethany's party unwittingly meet the angels on a train, where a drunk Bethany reveals her mission to Bartleby. Bartleby threatens to kill Bethany before a melee ensues, in which Silent Bob throws Bartleby and Loki off the train.
Once Bartleby and Loki realize that their plan will destroy all existence, they are divided: Loki wants to back out, while Bartleby is intent on striking back at God for giving humans free will while demanding servitude from angels. Horrified, Loki tells Bartleby that he sounds like Lucifer and refuses to help him any further, but Bartleby strong-arms him into going forward with their plan.
Bethany learns she was chosen for the mission because she is the last relative of Jesus Christ. The group ponders who orchestrated the angels' plan, and Metatron explains that God goes to Earth in human form every now and again to play skee ball, and has gone missing; someone knew enough to incapacitate God but leaving Him alive in a mortal form, and thus be unable to return to Heaven. The group deduces that Lucifer has as much to lose if Bartleby and Loki succeed as anyone else. Arriving at the church, they fail to persuade Cardinal Glick (Carlin) to cancel the celebration. As revenge, Jay steals Glick's golf club.
When Bartleby and Loki reach the church, Bartleby kills everyone attending the celebration. At a nearby bar, Azrael captures the heroes and explains that he is the mastermind behind the angels' plan; he wants to destroy existence rather than spend eternity in Hell, but he needed to manipulate Bartleby and Loki, as demons cannot become human. Silent Bob kills Azrael with Glick's blessed golf club. Serendipity tells Bethany to bless the sink, making the water in the sink holy; Jay, Rufus and Serendipity kill the Stygian Triplets by dunking their heads into the water.
The heroes reach the church before Bartleby and Loki enter. Loki's wings have been torn off by Bartleby; he is now human and decides to help them. Bartleby kills Loki and fights off Rufus, Serendipity and Bob. During an attempt to seduce Bethany, Jay mentions John Doe Jersey, a comatose patient in a hospital across the street who was attacked outside a skee ball arcade and is being kept on life support. Hoping this is God, Bethany and Bob race to the hospital. Jay shoots off Bartleby's wings with a submachine gun, turning him human.
Bethany removes John Doe Jersey's life support, allowing God to escape while inadvertently killing Bethany. In the form of a woman, God (Morissette) manifests at the church before a remorseful Bartleby, and kills him with the power of Her voice. Silent Bob shows up with Bethany's corpse. God resurrects Bethany and conceives a child inside her. God, Rufus and Serendipity return to Heaven, leaving Bethany, Jay and Bob to reflect on what has happened.