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The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas

movie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas

Starring: Mark Addy, Kristen Johnson
Director: Brian Levant
Rated: PG
RunTime: 91 Minutes
Release Date: April 2000
Genre: Comedy

*Also starring: Jane Krakowski, Harvey Korman, Alan Cumming, Stephen Baldwin, Joan Collins, Thomas Gibson, John Taylor

Review by Steve Rhodes
1 star out of 4

FREQUENCY isn't the only time-travel movie playing now at your local cinema. After spending what feels like over a dozen hours in the theater watching THE FLINTSTONES IN VIVA ROCK VEGAS, you'll find that director Brian Levant has managed to transport you back in time to just an hour and an half after you entered the theater. An even better trick, of course, would be for him to give you back all of your wasted time.

In order to improve the motion picture's bottom line, the second live-action FLINTSTONES is a prequel, not a sequel. This allows the studio to hire significantly cheaper actors than the original cast which included John Goodman, Elizabeth Perkins, Rick Moranis and Rosie O'Donnell. Instead, we get Mark Addy, Kristen Johnston, Stephen Baldwin and Jane Krakowski as Fred, Wilma, Barney and Betty. Mark Addy, the chubby guy from THE FULL MONTY, is no John Goodman. And if you think the first movie was bad, wait until you see this one. Or better yet, don't.

The winner of the competition for the most gratingly awful member of the cast has to be Stephen Baldwin, whose stupid smile is permanently chiseled in stone. The only bright spot in the casting is Alan Cumming as a deliciously impudent little green alien named The Great Gazoo. (He also plays Mick Jagged, to whom Barney threatens to give a fat lip until he realizes that he already has one.) What, you may ask, is this monster with a face the color of industrial sludge doing in this movie? He's studying the mating habits of the human race and is foolish enough to view Fred and Barney as representative guinea pigs.

The production's intentionally cheap looking sets manage to look cheap but not funny since there's little imagination showing in their designs. About as amusing as the movie ever gets is in the choice of the name of its villain, Chip Rockefeller, a dastardly hotel magnate played without any oomph by Thomas Gibson.

"This is going to be fun, huh?" Wilma asks. Well, one hopes that the actors had fun running around barefoot, wearing ridiculous animal skins, and acting like morons since most viewers will not be able to share in the fun. The Great Gazoo calls the show's dynamic duo, Fred and Barney, a pair of "prehistoric imbeciles," something you may feel like after being so foolish as to purchase tickets for this poor excuse for a movie.

THE FLINTSTONES IN VIVA ROCK VEGAS runs 1:30. It is rated PG for innuendo and brief language and would be acceptable for all ages.

My son Jeffrey, age 11, thought the movie was only pretty good, giving it ** 1/2. His favorite character was Dino, Barney's pet dinosaur.

Copyright 2000 Steve Rhodes

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