Nutshell Review: Firestarter
PG Score: 5.75/10
Firestarter was released in theaters on 5/13/22
CAUTION: Some spoilers below
A remake of the 1984 film of the same name based on the Stephen King novel, Firestarter combines elements of horror and the supernatural, giving us a story of a girl born with special powers that brings a lot of unwanted attention to a family on the run.
On the run from a secret government organization, the film quickly shows us that the girl's parents, Andy (Zac Efron) and Victoria (Sydney Lemmon) were once volunteers at a government facility. They have been in hiding ever since and do their best to protect their daughter, Charlene (Ryan Kiera Armstrong). She is angry due to constantly being picked on, on the verge of puberty, and still grasping the full extent of her firepower. The young girl is told to repress her feelings; this backfires, which draws the attention of the very people the family has been hiding from.
Firestarter is a quick-paced film that jumps right into the story, with brief highlights giving us the essentials of the backstory. Unfortunately, the story doesn't have much substance. A small cast with some big names does little to help the cause, and doesn’t make a large impression on the film.
Rounding out the supporting cast is Michael Greyeyes (Wild Indian), Gloria Ruben (ER), John Beasley (Walking Tall), and the legendary Kurtwood Smith (That 70’s Show). The actors do everything in their power to tell the story and help it move to where it needs to go, but coupled with its quick pace, it just fails to connect.
An Unnecessary Remake
Firestarter fails to connect and while entertaining to a degree, the best thing about the film is the special effects, which focus mainly on Charlene’s power of fire. The biggest question about this film is; why was it necessary to remake the original? Sadly, the answer is there was no reason to remake a film where the only improvement is the special effects. That isn’t enough to make this film a recommended watch. Partly due to the length and pace, Firestarter doesn't have the impact of the original. You are better off watching this one at home where it is streaming on Peacock.