Anthony's Film Review

The Flintstones (1994)

This live-action remake of an old cartoon is boring with so little charm...

Hollywood has produced many movies that are remakes of old movies or television shows. I'm not against all of them, because there are a few examples of such movies where the remake can still work, either just as well as the original or even better. Therefore, I'm not against all cinematic remakes. I'm only against the ones that do a poor job, even though are many examples of this. You know the ones I mean. Fans of certain movies or TV shows may anticipate the cinematic remake version, only to become disappointed after seeing the final product.

That was my feeling with the 1994 live-action remake of The Flintstones, a 1960s animated sitcom about life in the Stone Age. I loved that show as a kid. It was a clever take on modern life if it could exist among our ancestors. There were many interesting examples of the use of rocks and other primitive technology to create things similar to what we have today, such as the classic foot-pedaled car (meaning the feet touch the ground itself). Aside from that, it just had a great sense of humor. The characters - mainly Fred and Wilma Flintstone as well as the Rubbles, Barney and Betty - were likable. That, to me, was the unique essence of The Flintstones: the absurdities of modern life in a past world that feels a lot like our own.

The live-action Flintstones movie does revolve around bringing modern life to a primitive time, but the humor is essentially nonexistent. Either the movie dealt with serious adult situations instead of making jokes or the movie made jokes that didn't work like the humor in the original cartoon. I'll give you some examples of each. There's a situation that involves possible adultery, something that isn't really for the kids. As for unnecessary humor, consider the part where a pteradactyl flies overhead. It's followed by a shot of gray liquid pouring onto a car, the prehistoric version of bird poop on a car. Basically, it's a joke I didn't think was needed.

As for the main cast, I will admit that the right actors were chosen just because I can't imagine anyone else to fit the same roles. There is John Goodman as Fred Flintstone, Elizabeth Perkins as Wilman Flintstone, Rick Moranis as Barney Rubble, and Rosie O'Donnell as Betty Rubble. As for the supporting case, there's Halle Berry as Sharon Stone, a totally unfunny reference to a certain Hollywood actress. Really, there's nothing else to say about the cast and characters. As for the story, I could care less about it given what I've described so far.

As much as I loved the Flintstones cartoon, this live-action movie was dreadful. The only thing going for it was the production design. At least effort was made to make it look as much like the cartoon as possible. Sadly, no effort was made to make the movie FEEL like the cartoon. That's what I wanted to see but never got. And I leave you with astonishing fact I learned about this movie: the number of writers. Apparently, a total of 32 screenwriters worked on the script for this movie over a span of several years. This pretty much explains the low quality of this movie. Seriously, if you want to make a good movie, leave the storytelling to just a few devoted writers. And if the movie is a remake of an old movie or TV show, do your homework and understand why the fans love the original. They'll thank you for it.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about The Flintstones, visit the Internet Movie Database.


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