Film Scouts Reviews

"The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas"

by Thom Bennett

Starring: Mark Addy , Jane Krakowski , Kristen Johnston , Alan Cumming , Stephen Baldwin .
Produced by Bruce Cohen .
Written by Harry Elfont , Deborah Kaplan , Jim Cash and Jack Epps Jr. .
Directed by Brian Levant .

'Yabba Dabba Dumb."

Eligible bachelors Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble have just graduated from the Bronto Crane Academy and gotten jobs at the local rock quarry. Meanwhile, Wilma Slaghoople, an heiress is miserable as she is set to be married to Chip Rockefeller, a rich playboy. Wilma runs away to Bedrock where she moves in with Betty O'Shale. The rest, as they say, is prehistory. Fred falls for Wilma and Barney for Betty. Enter "The Great Gazoo" (played by the great British actor Alan Cumming ), the short, green alien from the original cartoons, who puts the happy couples on a BC-10 (get it) for an exciting and romantic getaway in you guessed it "Rock Vegas". But the jilted Chip is not far behind with a devious plan to get Wilma back.

If nothing else this film teaches us one simple fact of life. That is that most cartoons are cartoons for a reason. This second installment and prequel to 1994's abysmal "The Flintstones" is an eye catching, slapsticky and mostly vapid attempt to capitalize on the popularity of the classic cartoon. Try to conjure every conceivable word play involving rocks, stones, dinosaurs and prehistoric times and then add ten or twenty - "Isaac Mitzraki" and "Melrock Place" to name but a few. Is this single joke regurgitation funny enough for ninety minutes of movie? Hardly. There are long stretches in this film where it seem as though the screenplay pages were missing and the film just lumbers on until the next bad joke or sequence.

There are kid's movies exclusively for kids, there are kid's movies that manage to be intelligent enough to entertain the adults who bring them. 'Viva Rock Vegas" is really just too silly for anyone. Throw in some curious (if not dubious) casting and a paper thin script and "The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas" turns out to be much like a hunk of rock candy sort of interesting looking but ultimately not too fulfilling.

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