The first Flintstones movie was only so-so at best, but it is American Beauty compared to The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, a prequel that is done sequel style - crappy. While the first movie starred names such as John Goodman and Rick Moranis, who both played their characters with skill, this prequel has all lesser names that do an equally lesser job. Mark Addy is Fred, Stephen Baldwin is Barney, Kristen Johnson is Wilma, and Jane Krakowski is Betty. I liked the original cast members better, but everyone fits their parts decently enough, except for Kristen Johnson, who is bigger than Fred. Furthermore, I can't stand her (mainly because of her horrible character in "3rd Rock from the Sun"), and she looks really out of place. Jane Krakowski, on the other hand, is a perfect fit for Betty (much better than Rosie O'Donnell, sorry to say). Mark Addy sort of has the look of Fred but isn't as good as Goodman by a long shot, and I have mixed feelings about the lesser Baldwin brother, who's Barney impersonation doesn't really fit his look, and he almost acts too stupid at times (wasn't he sort of intelligent in the first movie?).
The movie starts off badly from second one, introducing us to a race of miniature floating aliens that go to Earth to observe human mating rituals. Why there are aliens in this film I do not know, but they only make the movie worse than it already is.
Viva Rock Vegas has a few funny parts but they are sporadic at best. Most of the movie is just cheesy and dumb with overly stupid-looking sets and computer graphics.
The biggest problem is that all the jokes and scenarios are aimed at little kids but the content is pretty much all adult. Little kids won't understand all the relationship stuff, which is basically what this movie is. There's also some lines and innuendos that seem rather adult for a PG movie.
To make things worse, the movie is plagued by a decrepit plot involving a tycoon trying to win back the heart of Wilma while getting Fred arrested in his casino. Yabba dabba doo... that's almost clever.
Maybe The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas is aimed at the original generation that watched the show and have now grown up, but my guess is that it is just a major blunder on the part of Universal and, not wanting to let all the money put into the film go to waste, decided to bring it to theaters and scrounge up at least a few dollars.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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