You either Yabba Dabba Do or Yabba Dabba Don't.
Whether you like "The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas" depends on your tolerance for Bedrock's bad rock puns - Mick Jagged and the Stones? Bronto King Burgers? T-Rex tissues?
And your affection for the original Hanna-Barbera cartoon - a "Honeymooners" set in the Stone Age as if to show how little has evolved in the relationship between men and women beyond going from tunic animal-prints to suits, foot-propelled cars to motorized ones and dinosaur pets for dogs and cats.
The 1994 live-action "Flintstones," directed, like this one, by Brian Levant, was a surprise hit, overcoming a silly plot with goofy charm, performers who seemed as one with the cartoon characters as ink on a cartoon cel (John Goodman as Fred, Elizabeth Perkins as Wilma, Rosie O'Donnell as Betty and Rick Moranis as Barney) and great sight gags showing how prehistoric creatures took the place of modern conveniences, bird typewriters pecking letters and brontosauruses picking up rocks in the quarry with their mouths.
Judging from the reaction of the kids at the screening, the dinosaur-packed world still works.
But for adults? Well, it's hard to believe that the original "Flintstones" movie could be held up as a standard, but that's what Mark Addy's bland Fred and Kristen Johnston's overemoting Wilma will do for you. Although Stephen Baldwin's sweet dim bulb of a Barney and Jane Krakowski's perfect Betty laugh compensate.
The story, a prequel in which Fred and Barney first meet Wilma and Betty, is a collage of plots whirled around in a Cuisinart. We get a little "Titanic," in which high-society Wilma falls for working- stiff Fred against the wishes of her mother (Joan Collins). Chip Rockefeller (Thomas Gibson), who also wants to marry Wilma, frames Fred by slipping Wilma's necklace in Fred's pocket and fingering Fred as a thief.
Mix in a little "Roman Holiday" with slumming princess (Wilma again), "Some Like It Hot" with Fred and Barney as Rockettes and a little "My Favorite Martian" (Alan Cumming as an alien, complete with a joke about the actor's signature role in "Cabaret") and you've got the overcompensation that comes from comedy insecurity.
Still, there are still some pretty funny lines and gags. Among the best: The roller coasters that run on Brontosaurus necks; Barney, asking the alien if he's just been insulted, is told, "If the shoe fits," and responds, "What's a shoe?"
Like the original "Flintstones," it's hard to leave without at least a smile or two.