I adore this film, though I will admit to its faults. Acting-wise, some of the players are lacking. Jason Mewes can get on your nerves after awhile. Finally, they could have easily lost a monologue or two and drastically sped up the pace of the film.
Yet the dialogue is also the strongest part of the film, notably in the two major exchanges between Bethany (Linda Fiorentino) and Metatron (the priceless Alan Rickman). Yet, given the choice of one scene to present as an example of the writing, I have to choose a tense scene between the two angels Bartleby (Ben Affleck) and Loki (Matt Damon). The character development of these two semi-villians is wonderful, and gives us a real feel for them.
Bartleby: I was close. You know, I was so close to slittin' that bitch's throat. You know how that felt? Righteous. Justified. Eager, even.
Loki: You all right, man? Your eyes are kinda...
Bartleby: My eyes are open. For the first time, I get it. When that little innocent girl let her mission slip, I had an epiphany. See, in the beginning, it was just us and Him. Angels and God.
Loki: Uh huh.
Bartleby: Then he created humans. Ours was designed to be a life of servitude and worship...and bowing and scraping and adoration. He gave them more than He ever gave us. He gave them a choice. They choose to acknowledge God, or choose to ignore him. All this time we've been down here, I've felt the absence of the Divine presence. And it's pained me... As I'm sure it must have pained you. And why? Because of the way he made us. Had we been given free will, we could choose to ignore the pain. Like they do. But no! We're servants!
Loki: Okay... You know, all I'm sayin' here, is one of us might need a little nap.
Bartleby: [claps hands] Wake up! These humans have besmirched everything He's bestowed upon them. They were given Paradise - they threw it away. They were given this planet - they destroyed it. They were favored best among all His endeavors, and some of them don't even believe he exists. And in spite of it all... He hath shown them infinite f*cking patience at every turn. What about us? I asked you... Once, to lay down the sword, because I felt sorry for them. What was the result? Our expulsion from Paradise! Where was his infinite f*cking patience then? It's not right! It's not fair! We've paid our debt. Don't you think it's time... Don't you think it's time we went home? And to do that... I... I think we may have to dispatch our-our would be dispatchers.
Loki: Wait. Wait. Wait. Kill them? You're talking about the Last Scion for Chrissakes! And what about Jay and Bob? I mean... Those guys were all right.
Bartleby: Don't. Don't my friend. See, don't let your sympathies get the best of you. They did me once. Scion or not, she's just a human. And by passing through that arch, our sins are forgiven. No harm, no foul
Loki: My God. I've heard a rant like this before.
Bartleby: What did you say?
Loki: I've heard a rant like this before
Bartleby: Don't you f*ckin' do that to me
Loki: You sound like the Morning Star.
Bartleby: You shut your f*ckin' mouth!
Loki: You do! You sound like Lucifer, man! You f*ckin' lost it! You're not talkin' about goin' home Bartleby, you're talkin' about f*ckin' war on God. Well f*ck that. I have seen what happens to the proud when then take on the throne. I'm goin' back to Wisconsin.
Bartleby: [Bartleby violently throws Loki against a pillar in the parking garage] We're going home, Loki! And no one, not you, not even the Almighty himself, is gonna make that otherwise.