movie film review | chris tookey

Flintstones In Viva Rock Vegas

2000 - Universal Pictures, Inc. - all rights reserved
  Flintstones In Viva Rock Vegas Review
Tookey's Rating
1 /10
Average Rating
2.00 /10
Fred Flintstone: Mark Addy, Barney Rubble: Stephen Baldwin, Wilma: Kristen Johnston
Full Cast >

Directed by: Brian Levant
Written by: Deborah Kaplan, Harry Elfont, Jim Cash and Jack Epps, Jr

Released: 2000
Origin: US
Colour: C
Length: 90

A redundant prequel which tells you everything you never wished to know about how Fred Flintstone wooed Wilma, and Barney Rubble bowled over Betty.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

Bookmark and Share

It's colourful and lively at first, with no pretensions to sophistication. Tiny children and other primitives will appreciate the moment when a huge dinosaur breaks wind. However, none of the stars in the 1994 Flintstones movie (which made over 350 million dollars worldwide) consented to play the same roles in this follow-up, and - since one of them, Rick Moranis, dutifully turned out in two sequels to Honey, I Shrunk The Kids - that stands as a serious warning.

Mark Addy (pictured left) and Stephen Baldwin (pictured right) have Fred and Barney's voices off pat, but they're not right. Addy's too flabby and not funny enough. Baldwin's too tall and plays the whole thing as though he's stoned, not stupid.

It's an especially bad sign that, as Wilma's ghastly mother, Joan Collins deputises for Elizabeth Taylor. In a variety of pantomime dame costumes, Collins delivers her lines with perfect clarity and consummate distaste, like Margaret, Duchess of Argyll depositing the remnants of ill-smelling haddock in a dustbin.

Brian Levant directs with the same taste, intelligence and lightness of touch he exhibited on Arnold Schwarzenegger's Christmas movie, Jingle All The Way - in other words, none. But it's the script that stinks. Yabba dabba pooh.

Didn't anyone notice that there's something tasteless in a movie aimed at small children to have Betty becoming a groupie, or have gay jokes about Barney falling out of his hammock so he lies in a compromising position on top of Fred, or include a gag about rock stars making love to underage girls?

Isn't it insulting even to toddlers to have a plot that relies on its audience having an attention span of under three minutes? Didn't anyone think it weird that Fred and Barney would one moment be arrested for stealing a pearl necklace, the next be feted by their accusers in a grand finale?

And then there's the irritating green-faced alien (Alan Cumming) sent to earth in order to spy on earthlings' mating habits, for reasons that remain abstruse. He isn't funny and never has much to do with the plot - though this may have been a sensible career-decision, since the story takes the audience further and further into the realm of a romantic comedy which grown-ups will find mindless and children will find a bore.

The talented Mr Cumming turns up again in a horrible, cringe-making cameo as English rock star, Mick Jagged. I was about to write that you feel sorry for the poor chap, but I ended up feeling much sorrier for the audience.

Key to Symbols