Firestarter Has No Spark

The Stream: Boring, predictable and cheesy.

The Big Screen: At least it’s only 90 minutes.

The Final Bill: A thriller that lacks thrills is not worth the trip to the theater.

Director: Keith Thomas
Writers: Scott Teems based on a novel by Stephen King
Stars: Zac Efron, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, Michael Greyeyes, and Gloria Reuben
Genre: Drama, Horror, Thriller
Rating: R for violent content
Runtime: 1 hour 30 minutes
Production Companies: Blumhouse Productions, Angry Adam Productions, BoulderLight Pictures, Universal Pictures, Weed Road Pictures
Platform: In theaters and on Peacock

Well, Streamers, there should have been a “Spoiler Alert” in that “Final Bill” above. Yes, Firestarter opened in wide release this weekend; and, no, it is not worth your time. This movie is a remake of a previous adaptation of the Stephen King novel of the same name. It promised thrills and pyrotechnics, but it did not deliver on that promise. Here’s how it goes.

Firestarter is the story of a young girl, Charlie, who has the power to set things on fire with her mind. She has difficulty controlling the power as she struggles with fear, anxiety and anger. Charlie’s parents, Andy and Vicky, have powers of their own. It is imperative that Charlie keep her powers hidden as a shadowy organization want to seize her an experiment on her like they did to her parents years ago. Charlie, of course, sets things on fire and an inopportune time calling attention to her whereabouts, which causes her family to go on the run. Firey hijinks ensue.

I’m not going to belabor this review. Firestarter is boring. Who knew that having the power to set things on fire with your mind could be made into such a dull movie?!?! The story is like every other “person with special powers” story. Sure, there was an original movie made 40 years ago, but there seems to have been no updating of the premise at all. There is nothing here you haven’t seen before. Unfortunately, there’s not much else about it to recommend either. The effects aren’t especially interesting. The acting is passable at best – I do not buy Zac Efron as this girl’s father. There’s not even any unintentional humor injecting in here. It’s just blah.

Actually, the movie being only 90 minutes is a plus – although this movie could have been an hour-long episode of “Black Mirror” or “Twilight Zone” or something.

S2S: Official Rating Scale

Ultimately, Firestarter is a dud. It’s not thrilling. The story is predictable. There isn’t anything new or innovative done with the premise or any special effects. It is only 90 minutes though. Definitely, do not waste your precious gas money on a trip to the theater for this. It’s on Peacock for those subscribers, but even then, it’s only one popped kernel for me.