From the Chicago Reader (November 1, 1999). — J.R.


Not to be confused with the Danish publicity stunt Dogma 95, this all-American publicity stunt, a comedy about Catholicism by New Jersey yahoo Kevin Smith (Clerks, Chasing Amy), can be recommended to 11-year-olds of all denominations. Older folks who want to kid themselves that they’re engaging important issues by provoking intolerant believers will undoubtedly get plenty of kicks too. But I couldn’t care less whether Smith’s metaphysical conceits about the war between Good and Evil are those of a devout believer or an atheist. The bottom line is that they’re puerile and that people repeatedly saying things like What the fuck is this shit? doesn’t make Smith either a satirist or a disciple of Preston Sturges. And his clodhopper handling of actors Linda Fiorentino, Alan Rickman, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Salma Hayek, and Jason Mewes — only Chris Rock comes out more or less unscathed — makes this 125-minute movie seem interminable. (JR)

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