Making the Grades
You would have to live under a rock for the last three decades to not know the basic premise of The Flintstones. Mind you, living under a rock is what the whole show is about, as these pre-fab cave dwellers try and make their living in the town of Bedrock. The movie could easily be a 30-minute television episode, as the typical plot involves a crook trying to take over the quarry where Fred works.
However, the small amount that appears to have been spent on the screenwriter is mostly made up for with an incredible special effects team that manages to create a world surprisingly similar to the animated version. Everything from the elephant shower, the pig garburetor, and the community-powered bus are here, along with a few new features.
The Flintstones was the 1960's answer to The Simpsons. The first animated cartoon developed for an adult prime time audience, and based on the classic Honeymooners series, the show has surprising resilience when you consider that Fred's chauvinistic attitude is anything but 1994 friendly. The writers of the movie must have recognized the need for a "new" Fred, as the character now has a softer heart to match his head.
The movie has also pushed the limits of sexuality to the nineties level as well. It was easy to accept a poorly drawn scantily clad cave woman, but when translated to a real person, the wardrobe department wound up with less material to work with than the writers. Considering most of the marketing clout of this movie is aimed squarely at your children, the bad guy's girlfriend that is sent in to talk Fred into their scheme is more than just a little "over the top."
The Flintstones is a novelty movie. You and the kids will find the sets and props fascinating, and fortunately they are so well done, you'll forget the story is missing.