Firestarter (2022): Movie Review

Firestarter Movie Review: A Blast from the Past (in Very a Bad Way)

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We were sincerely excited when we heard about "Firestarter" as we were cult fans of the 80s film starring Drew Barrymore. But this 2022 edition doesn't hold a candle to the old film - and to think the original adaptation wasn't even good in the first place. The stale acting, laughably horrible script, and a made-for-television feel means that you should skip this latest Stephen King big-screen adaptation.

Parents Andy (Zac Efron) and Vicky (Sydney Lemmon) have been on the run desperate to hide their daughter Charlie (Ryan Kiera Armstrong) from a shadowy federal agency called DSI that wants to harness her unprecedented gift for creating fire into a weapon of mass destruction. Both Andy and Vicky are no strangers to the DSI's cruel ways as both were participants to the agency's experiments when they were younger. But as Charlie grows older, her emotions and powers grow stronger and uncontrolled. After an incident reveals the family’s location, DSI hires an operative called Rainbird (Michael Greyeyes) to hunt down the family and seize Charlie once and for all.

For the film that's set in present time, surprisingly came off as a film "Firestarter" that's set in the 70s or 80s. And this disconnect from what were seeing on-screen and what the film wanted audiences to feel happens in every aspect of "Firestarter". At its core, the film just had horrible writing. From its story to its characters, you'll be hard-pressed to find anyone or anything to be likable or relatable. And yes, even with the young and innocent Charlie who struggles to control her powers. These characters for us were just too monotonous and one-note. Zac Efron in particular just didn't work as a dad here even if he had the best performance out of the cast. On top of all the narrative and character issues, the script was also a literal hoot and you'll be laughing out loud on how bad it actually was. "Firestarter" unfortunately is the kind of film that never should have seen the light of day and they should have burned the idea even before they wasted resources on this.   

Rating: Half a reel

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