Kevin Smith and religion have always had a difficult relationship, as is evident from his films. His earliest example of the misrepresentation of religion in his writing was Dogma, released in 1999. According to an essay released with the Dogma special edition DVD, Smith revealed that the idea was leaking even before Clerks. After the runaway success of Chasing Amy, Smith finally felt he had reached the point where he could get Dogma right.
The film follows Bethany Sloane (Linda Fiorentino), an abortion clinic consultant who becomes embroiled in a conflict that spans both heaven and hell. Two fallen angels, Bartleby (Ben Affleck) and Loki (Matt Damon), hope to go back to heaven, which inadvertently nullifies all existence in the process. Along the way, Bethany is assisted by Jay and Silent Bob, who enter the film in grand fashion, beating up several demonic hockey punks. The film has many stellar talents including Chris Rock, Salma Hayek, George Carlin and Alan Rickman. It also contains one of the most bizarre on-screen images of God, played here by pop singer Alanis Morissette. From start to finish, “Dogma” is Smith shooting at full blast and is the perfect combination of his standard sarcasm with some legitimately compelling storytelling.