Everyone's favorite stone age family is back in Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment's The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, directed once again by Brian Levant and produced by Bruce Cohen.
This time the story takes a step further back in time when Fred Flintstone, the boy from the wrong side of the rocks, courts the beautiful, young heiress Wilma Slaghoople. Along with best friend Barney Rubble, and his future fiancee Betty, Fred and Wilma head off for a romantic weekend in Rock Vegas, the hottest rock resort on the continent.
Once again tossing out all continuity and traditional Flintstones plotting, this overly stylish film suggests that Wilma was an heiress secretly working as a carhop with her friend Betty and pining away for her prince (while being forced to date Chip Rockefeller) -- among several other extremely contrived plotlines.
It might have done the filmmakers good to remember that The Flintstones became a huge hit in black and white, and although color is loads of fun and can be visually appealing, it's way overdone in this context of the stone age. Rock Vegas is especially ornate with flashing lights and neon-colored "stone" walls.
And lest we forget the painstaking challenge it can be to bring animated characters to life, it's certainly exemplified in the film's casting. All of a sudden Wilma is a throaty, amazon of-a-woman because of Kristen Johnston's height and deep voice, and the casting of Baldwin as Barney and Joan Collins as Wilma's mother is marginal at best. On the flip side, Jane Krakowski gives us a fun -- though overly flirty -- Betty, and the inclusion of baby Dino and the brilliantly handled Great Gazoo make for genuine bright spots.