Old dogma

Dogma (1999), directed by Kevin Smith

Director Kevin Smith's 1997 film Chasing Amy focuses on people in their early to mid-20s who are at a crossroads between adolescent sexual experimentation and the possibility of mature relationships. He shrewdly notes these characters' hip mannerisms and Gen-X obsession with mass culture.

In the opening scenes of Smith's new film, Dogma, it seems that he might successfully translate his hip style into a penetrating religious satire. Cardinal Glick, played by George Carlin, holds a press conference on the steps of a church to unveil his "Catholicism Wow!" campaign, replete with a winking, thumbs-up statuette of Christ. In an age when supermarkets sell stuffed bears wearing WWJD bracelets, a self-marketing church practically offers itself up for parody. But by the next scene Smith has abandoned this theme—the first of many missed opportunities.


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