The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas 

This film begs the eternal question: Why don't they spend as much effort on the script as they do the sets? This prehistoric prequel to the 1994 live-action film, which starred John Goodman, tells how our formerly animated pals first met. Mark Addy (The Full Monty) takes over the role of Fred and does an admirable enough job with the material he's been handed. Most of the rest of the cast is fairly ineffectual, including Stephen Baldwin (Barney), Kristen Johnston (Wilma), Jane Krakowski (Betty), Joan Collins (Wilma's mom), and Harvey Korman (Wilma's dad). Only Alan Cumming (Titus) really shines in the dual role of The Great Gazoo and rock star Mick Jagged. The special effects are impressive and the sets are great fun, but the script by Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan (Can't Hardly Wait) would have been too lame even for the half-hour animated show. To top things off, director Brian Levant (Jingle All the Way) can't find a pace tight enough to keep most kids fully interested. That leaves us with Fred's adorable computer-generated pet, Dino, and the clever sets that deftly steal the show. The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas is a triumph of art direction over art. (PG) Rating: 5

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