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
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,
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
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