Cliff Vandercave (Kyle MacLachlan), an executive vice president of industrial procurement at Slate & Co., explains to his sexy co-worker Sharon Stone (Halle Berry) of his intentions to frame Fred Flintstone (John Goodman) for a crime, which leads into a live action montage of the opening credits of The Flintstones.
While Fred leaves work for the day, Barney Rubble (Rick Moranis) reveals that he is going to be a father, much to Fred’s amazement. After returning home, Fred reveals to his wife, Wilma (Elizabeth Perkins) that he loaned Barney money so he and his wife, Betty (Rosie O’Donnell) can adopt a child. After adopting a caveboy named Bamm-Bamm, Barney appreciates what Fred did for him and is determined to pay him back. While taking the exams, Fred fails it, and is disappointed since he will not be able to give Wilma the wealthy life she used to have. To pay him back for giving him the money to adopt Bamm-Bamm, Barney (who did well on the exam) swaps his with Fred’s and Fred is promoted to Vice President.
On Fred’s first day as an executive, Cliff brings him to his new office and introduces Miss Stone as his secretary, using her to seduce Fred to keep his attention off of work so he won’t find out about their plan. Cliff has Fred fire Barney because of his exam score, but does his best to help Barney afterwards with financial problems. Cliff proposes a new machine that will do all of the quarry work and increase the company’s income. However, Fred is concerned about the operators losing their jobs. Cliff plans to have a fake version of the machine built and flee with the money gained from the machine, and frame Fred for it. After giving the contracts to Fred, Miss Stone seduces him in an attempt to prevent him from finding out Cliff’s intentions. However, Wilma walks in on the two, forcing a strain on their marriage. The Rubbles move into the Flintstones’ house, causing tension between the Flintstones and the Rubbles, while the Flintstones’ wealth increases. While out at a restaurant, Barney, now working as a busboy, sees on the news that Fred has fired all of the quarry operators. He confronts him about it, and their argument leads to Barney revealing that he switched their tests. The Rubbles move out of the house and Wilma abandons Fred.
Fred discovers Cliff’s intentions, eventually leading into a chase by an angry mob of the unemployed quarry operators. They eventually catch Fred and attempt to lynch him and Barney once they find out it was because of him that Fred was promoted the job. Fred and Barney reconcile while Wilma, Betty and the dictabird arrive at the scene to explain the crime to the mob. Meanwhile, Cliff kidnaps Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm and lures Fred and Barney into a trap. Cliff attempts to kill the dictabird, but is knocked out by Miss Stone, who had realised Cliff’s eventual betrayal. While Barney rescues the kids, Fred uses the catapult to destroy Cliff’s machine, causing Cliff to be trapped in a mixture of water and stone. Miss Stone is arrested, but Fred agrees to vouch for her. Mr. Slate (Dann Florek) declares his love of the substance that Cliff was trapped in, deciding to name it after his daughter Concretia, and declares the Stone Age over with its creation. Slate offers Fred the presidency of a new division in the company, but Fred turns it down in exchange his old job, Slate rehiring all the workers, and adding a few other improvements to the workplace he had originally desired as an executive.
The film ends with a live action montage of the animated series’ closing credits.
For those of us that actually grew up in the time when cartoons actually came on TV, you may remember The Flintstones (or some versions of it…for me, it was reruns of the original and The Flintstone Kids). This film version of the great cartoon does the show justice, which is something many films that are based on TV shows don’t do.
As you may know from watching the original series, The Flintstones was set in prehistoric time in the fictional town of Bedrock. Everything in this world was similar to today…well, more like the 60s, when the show was originally created, but you get the picture. The only difference is that everything was made of stone, wood, and powered by animals such as mammoths, birds, etc. It is these creatures that made the series such a delight. The movie doesn’t give us as much of them, but what we do get is just like the series.
Casting is actually quite spot on. John Goodman as Fred is perfect, although, at times he seems like he’s trying to more Jackie Gleason than Fred Flintstone.
Rick Moranis could not be more perfect for the role of Barney, but he could have brought a but more of Barney’s simple nature to the character, at least for my taste.
I’m not sure I care for Rosie O’Donnell as Betty, but considering how Rosie was still loved by the public ast the time this film was released, as opposed to the bitter lesbian she appears to be nowadays, my opinion maybe have been swayed subconsciously.
Halle Berry is drop dead gorgeous, no matter what role she’s playing, but as a vixen secretary (scantily clad, btw), she really captures the audience.
Kyle MacLachlan is a total douche as the villain, and it works for him.
I know that the series focused mainly on Fred and Barney, as does the film, but it would be nice to get more of Betty and Wilma. That could just be a personal opinion, though.
As I said before, the fact that this film stayed true to the original series is a huge plus for me. I get so tired of films that based on old series that totally forget their roots. There is a reason these shows worked in the first place, so by taking that away from them, you are stripping them of their identity. It is really impressive to watch the opening and ending. The filmmakers obviously took the timer to make sure they took the animated scenes and turned them into live action, frame by frame. It really works, and if you don’t watch this film for any other reason, you should check that out.
The creatures here are mostly crafted by Jim Henson, but a few are CGI, such as Dino and the sabre tooth tiger cat. No surprise, but the puppets look much better than the CGI. I will give them credit, though. Dino looked good for what he was. I just think he could have been better. Of course, if this film were made today, they’d probably try to make him look unnecessarily real. So much so that he’d be unrecognizable.
The Flintstones is better than most people give it credit for. This may because of the sequel/prequel that was released after, or just because people don’t want to give the flick a shot. I’m willing to give anything a chance, and this was definitely worth the time. A mix of comedy, nostalgia, and fun, this is a must-see. With the same tone as the series, it is hard to not like this film, unless you’re a total purist or one of those people who thinks everything needs to be dark and dreary. If that is the case, then this isn’t the film for you in the first place. Of course, there is alwas Halle Berry to distract you.
4 1/2 out of 5 stars