At my employment at a movie theatre I remember screening the first live action Flintstones. I was actually kind of excited to see the movie as the previews did promise a charming tale of Fred and Wilma. It became a huge hit, but a bigger bore. The casting was poor at best as John Goodman couldn't even be bothered to dye his hair for the role, much less try and talk like the cartoon Fred. Rosie O'Donnel as Betty? Someone thought that was a good idea? Worst of all it the screenwriters didn't want to be bothered by making it funny for adults or children. There was not a single thing I enjoyed about it.
One late night with nothing on the agenda I flipped to the prequel, The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas. It's a simple love story of when Fred and his loyal companion Barney meet and fall in love with Wilma and Betty. Not exactly a deep plot of class struggles in a silly comedy, but damn I found myself entertained.
What made the film fun is the actors pulled it off and actually had, wait for it, talent. For the most part the cast sounded exactly like their cartoon counterparts and even had the look down. The sets were superior to the first film which is a feat indeed, but the real surprise for me is the jokes were actually kind of clever. Not entirely laugh out loud humor mind you, but enough to keep one amused. This time the screenwriters seemed to actually watch the source material and thought it would be a good idea to improve upon it.
Now this is not high brow cinema by any means, but as a fan of the animated Honeymooners rip-off in my youth I found it to be enjoyable nostalgia.
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"The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas is cute and funny, with plenty of slapstick and cuddly creatures for the kids and enough adult wit to keep parents reasonably amused." - David Germain