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The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas is the 2000 live-action film starring Stephen Baldwin and Jane Krakowski. All the tropes from the classic Flintstones cartoon from the early '60s are here -- sight gags, caveman puns, working dinosaurs lamenting their fates directly to the camera. There are a couple moments of sexual innuendo with Barney, and some cartoonish violence along the order of Fred falling from a ferris wheel. And early in the early in the film, a dinosaur audibly passes gas. But on the whole, this silly and campy reinterpretation of the well-known cartoon is enjoyable enough for the entire family. The problem is that this movie, in spite of fun acting and closing adhering to the source material, doesn't really move beyond the original cartoon; it just brings back jokes from that show in a not very different form. Ultimately, you're better off watching the perpetually syndicated Hanna-Barbera animated series.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Wilma (Kristen Johnston (Third Rock from the Sun) is the pampered daughter of the snobbish Pearl Slaghoople (Joan Collins) and the loving but addled Colonel (Harvey Korman). She has no interest in a life of country clubs and snobs. She runs away and is befriended by waitress Betty O'Shale (Jane Krakowski of Ally McBeal). They meet Fred (Mark Addy, from The Full Monty) and Barney (Stephen Baldwin, from The Usual Suspects) and all goes well until Chip Rockefeller (Dharma & Greg's Thomas Gibson), who is after Wilma's fortune, invites them to his new resort in Rock Vegas. But all ends well, and we even get to see the origins of Wilma's upswept hairstyle and pearls.
Is it any good?
FLINTSTONES IN VIVA LAS VEGAS is better than the original 1994 Flintstones movie. This prequel benefits from lower expectations (it was originally intended as a straight-to-video release) and improved technology (the CGI dinosaurs are terrific). OK, it begins with a fart joke (the guilty party -- a dinosaur -- says, "Hey, I got three stomachs, cut me some slack!"). And the rest of the humor is only slightly more elevated; some of its jokes are older than the Stone Age. But it's not too bad. There are even a couple of genuinely funny moments, and it can provide for moderately enjoyable family entertainment or a first-class birthday party for anyone in the 5- to 8-year-old range.
Mark Addy and Stephen Baldwin play Fred and Barney as though they're really enjoying it. The wonderfully talented Kristen Johnston is sadly underused as Wilma, but she looks sensational in her "Isaac Miz-rock-hi" animal skins. The highlight of the movie is Alan Cummings. He plays both Gazoo, the space alien who comes to earth to observe human mating rituals, and Mick Jagged, the (what else) rock star, frontman for (what else) the Stones. It's a real pity that he plays only two roles -- the movie fades whenever he's offscreen. In the soundtrack's highlight, Ann-Margret simultaneously salutes two of her career highlights -- the original Flintstones cartoon (as "Ann Margrock") and the 1964 film Viva Las Vegas (in which she co-starred with Elvis Presley) with a terrific rendition of the song "Viva Rock Vegas."
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how this prequel compares with the first Flintstones live-action movie. Is it as funny? Is it better?
Which do you like better, the old Flintstones cartoons or the live action Flintstones movies?
Why are live-action movies based on cartoon series so popular? What other cartoons have been made into nonanimated feature films?
- In theaters: April 28, 2000
- On DVD or streaming: September 26, 2000
- Cast: Kristen Johnston, Mark Addy, Stephen Baldwin
- Director: Brian Levant
- Studio: Universal Pictures
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Cars and Trucks, Adventures, Wild Animals
- Run time: 90 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: innuendo and brief language
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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