The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas
The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas is a 2000 American romantic comedy film directed by Brian Levant, produced by Bruce Cohen, co-written by Jim Cash (it was his final film as he died one month before the premiere), Harry Elfont, Deborah Kaplan, and Jack Epps Jr., and is the prequel to Levant's smash hit The Flintstones from 1994, based on the cartoon television series of the same name. Produced by Amblin Entertainment and Hanna-Barbera Productions and distributed by Universal Pictures, it is set before the events of the first film, showing how Fred and Barney met Wilma and Betty.
The movie stars Mark Addy, Stephen Baldwin, Kristen Johnston, Jane Krakowski, Joan Collins, Thomas Gibson, Harvey Korman (in his final film role), and Alan Cumming.
Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble meet Wilma Slaghoople and Betty O'Shale and go on a trip to Rock Vegas, where Wilma is pursued by playboy Chip Rockefeller.
- The plot is a mish-mash of references to the cartoon, and tries to shoehorn in the origins of all the famous traits, such as how and when Fred and Barney met Wilma and Betty, how they got Dino, how Wilma got her pearl necklace, how Fred learned to use a bronto-crane, etc.
- Stephen Baldwin, Kristen Johnston and Alan Cumming are all seriously miscast as Barney, Wilma, and The Great Gazoo.
- There are unfunny jokes and unfunny dialogue in this film, consisting of fart jokes.
- Many plot holes that seem to go nowhere (especially with The Great Gazoo).
- Our villain, Chip Rockefeller is not super-hateful like Cliff Vandercave was in the first film, he's the stereotypical spoiled rich man who just comes off as annoying and unconvincing.
- The performances came more off as awkward and laughable than amusing.
- There are so many creepy things in it, like The Great Gazoo for instance.
- Too many montages and random things going on, which also hurt the story.
- The misunderstanding plot point is pointless because since this is a prequel, we know that they are going to end up together.
- Mark Addy and Jane Krakowski are well cast as Fred and Betty.
- While not as good as Rick Moranis, Stephen Baldwin did do an okay job playing the role of Barney.
- Jim Doughan plays a man in the casino who plans to wipe out the dinosaurs; his lines are funny and his idea and plan are extremely clever.
- Rosie O'Donnell and Irwin Keyes are the only original cast members to return, with the former voicing an octopus giving Wilma and Betty a massage, and the latter reprising his role as Joe Rockhead.
- Seeing Dino as a puppy is adorable.
- The CGI on the dinosaurs is quite impressive.
- The backstory is kind of interesting.
- William Hanna and Joseph Barbera had a hand in with making the film like they did previously with making the first film, and even made a cameo at Fred and Wilma's wedding.
Like the original film, The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas received negative reviews from critics, fans and audiences. The film currently holds a 25% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a critic consensus that reads "The prequel to the first full-length feature set in Bedrock, Viva Rock Vegas is a surprising improvement over The Flintstones. Aimed towards an audience of adults and children alike, critics feel Viva will appeal to a broad range of viewers." Film critic Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun-Times awarded the film a 0.5 out of 4 and described it as "not delightful or funny or exciting, and for long stretches, it looks exactly like hapless actors standing in front of big rocks and reciting sitcom dialogue."
The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas opened at #2 on its opening weekend with a domestic gross of $10,518,435. It would later make a total domestic gross of $35,268,275. In foreign markets, the film made $24,200,000. Overall, the film grossed $59,468,275 against its $83 million budget making it a box office bomb.
Awards and nominations
The film was nominated for four Golden Raspberry Awards including Worst Picture, but failed to win any award. The film lost most of the Awards to Battlefield Earth
- This film was originally planned to be a sequel that would be a continuation of the first Flintstones film. However, when the original cast (particularly John Goodman and Rick Moranis) chose not to star in the film, the production was pushed back until the sequel idea was cancelled and rewritten into a prequel.
- David Spade was the original choice to play Barney.
- A pre-teen Kristen Stewart made a cameo as a ring toss girl in the carnival portion of the story, due to her mother Jule Stewart being a script supervisor.
- In this film, Wilma enjoys bowling unlike in the original cartoon in which she never did.