Coming from the “They don’t need to remake this” pile, there’s a new Firestarter movie. It is out to stream, and here’s my review.

I vaguely recall the original. It had Drew Barrymore in it, she could start fires, it was based on a story by Stephen King. That’s about it. I haven’t read the book, obviously, but I heard this was closer to the book than the first movie attempt, so I thought I would check it out.

firestarter

Firestarter stars Zac Efron, Ryan Kiere Armstrong, Sydney Lemmon, Michael Greyeyes, and Gloria Reuben. There are some other famous people in the movie, but they are literally only in one or two scenes. It is directed by Keith Thomas, with the screenplay by Scott Teems.

Keith Thomas is fairly new on the scene, but I have seen another of his movies, The Vigil. I thought t was very good and very well made. Because of this, I was intrigued by Firestarter. The downside was the screenplay by Scott Teems, who was one of the “creative forces” behind Halloween Kills, which I found hilariously bad. The story is simple:

“A young girl tries to understand how she mysteriously gained the power to set things on fire with her mind.”

Basically, Andy (Efron) and Charlie McGee (Lemmon) were experimented on in college and gained powers. They had a kid who has the power to start fires. Dad doesn’t want to learn how to use it, but mum does. Both are worried that the people who ran the original experiments will hunt them, and the little girl, down.

Obviously, this is exactly what happens. There is another guy with some kind of powers, Rainbird (Greyeyes). You don’t really know what his powers are, since they are never adequately explained by the movie.

The main bad guy is Captain Hollister (Reuben) and she is just terrible. Her character is all over the place, being almost comical in places but then trying to be a badass. It wasn’t even laughable, it was cringy.

I rate Zac Efron as an actor. I know some people think he’s a pretty boy, but I’ve seen him give good performances. He is probably the best thing about this movie. The young girl, Charlie (Kiera Armstrong) is hit and miss. There are times when she is pretty good, but then there are times when she is not.

I expected more from this director and, if I had to guess, I would have said the studio interfered with this and it really shows. The movie is a mess. There is a very weak script, paint by numbers direction, and mediocre acting.

I used to look forward to Blumhouse releases, but they just seem to be producing content now, not movies.

Firestarter was a complete waste of everyone’s time and money. Don’t waste yours on it!

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