Dogma (15)

Review by Jack Foley

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Cast and crew interviews; Teaser trailer; Main trailer; UK TV spots.

DISOWNED by Disney and condemned by the Catholic Church, Dogma has become notorious for its allegedly anti-Catholic and highly blasphemous content, causing uproar among devout US Christians who have not even dared to see it.

Yet from its gleefully inspired opening disclaimer and salient points about the nature of judgement and forgiveness, writer and director Kevin Smith's movie actually has some very intelligent things to say about modern attitudes to religion - as well as being ridiculously enjoyable at the same time.

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck (brilliant whenever on screen) lead a superb ensemble cast as two fallen angels who stumble upon a plan to get back into heaven which would herald the end of the world.

Pitted against them is Linda Fiorentino's disenchanted abortion clinic worker and a team of unlikely accomplices including a resurrected 13th Apostle (Chris 'Lethal Weapon 4') Rock; a former heavenly muse turned stripper (the divine Salma Hayek); two foul-mouthed profits (played by Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes); and the herald angel (the ever-delightful Alan Rickman).

What sounds pretty weird is, for the most part, quite wonderful, benefiting from a delightfully barbed script which, while frequently bordering on the offensive, manages to provoke some intelligent thinking. If the film does slip at times - when it's bad, it's awful (!) - Smith can just about be forgiven for Dogma never becomes boring or predictable.

And with even Canadian singer Alanis Morisette, making a late cameo as God, managing to put a smile on the face for her performance, even sceptics would be advised to give this a go. For at the end of the day, it is the people who feel they would be offended by Dogma who will probably enjoy it the most - and isn't that Ironic!