Movie Review: Firestarter

It does feel that there are going to be a lot of people chiming in on this story for several reasons, a couple of which might be worth a good eye roll and shake of the head, and others that might be worth a note of acknowledgment. The moment that Firestarter was announced as an upcoming project, there were a lot of people that were kind of excited, and those of us that were willing to entertain the thought of what could happen, but were willing to question how effective it could be. The truth of what’s happened with this reboot is that it’s a compelling story, but it feels as though it went by too fast and didn’t accomplish enough. In terms of the effects and the idea that Charlie could be a great character moving forward, there is a lot of promise by the end, even though it’s easy to think that the ending of this movie was different from the original. That could be a very good thing if there is a sequel to come, especially since young Charlie is the kind of character that still has a lot of growing up to do. 

The movie started as one might have expected, with Charlie still being a young girl that didn’t know how to fully control the power that had been granted to her by her parents. The same type of testing that had driven some people insane and given Charlie’s parents their strange abilities became a part of her genetic makeup when she was born, as her father details how her temperature continued to rise, which would worry many doctors. But as it was in the original movie, Charlie’s control over her powers was not perfect, and it was alluded to that her lack of control was far more dangerous than one could imagine since one has to think about the implications of a child’s anger coupled with the kind of power that can ignite nearby materials by thought alone. 

This story has a lot of promise, but somehow it feels incomplete, as though it was touching upon the main points of the story without really diving into it that deeply. It’s not hard to say, but the sequel that came out years ago, Firestarter: Rekindled, delved deeper into the story than this movie did, and it showed that Charlie had become a controlled and extremely dangerous individual. But while this movie felt a bit rushed and even though it didn’t complete the whole story, its pace was something that one might have felt the need to keep up with just to avoid being left behind. Seeing Charlie and her father make their way from one setting to another without much of a break between. This kind of pace was interesting, to say the least, but it also didn’t offer up a great deal of exposition, though it might not have needed it. If anything, this was a race to see who would be left standing at the end, and it’s not hard to imagine that many would see Charlie as the one person that was the easiest to support since, despite her power, she needed the most guidance and the most support. 

Her father wasn’t to blame, as he was doing the best he could under the circumstances, though it did feel his options were limited, as were her mother’s. One thing that did feel right this time around was that Rainbird, the operative sent to retrieve Charlie, was played by an actual indigenous individual, which made this feel far more accurate since George C. Scott played this part decades ago. Scott was a great actor in his time, but many are quick to point out, even if the original movie was well before their time, that he was not the right man for the role. The easiest way to get past this is by saying that the 80s were a different time, but thankfully Michael Greyeyes was able to rectify this situation by putting in a moderate to effective performance. The ending of the movie was interesting since it feels as though it might be sending a message that not everyone can agree with, but it’s still intriguing all the same. 

It would be nice to hear that this movie is going to get a sequel since the ending is quite open and the saga of Charlie and Rainbird feels as though it could go on and become something that might become an even bigger story than was initially shown. As far as this movie goes, it’s interesting to see how the story was updated, as the transition feels like it was smooth enough that there wasn’t a great deal of difficulty. In fact, if there’s one gripe, it feels as though the movie went too quickly and there wasn’t enough packed into it. But watching it again makes one realize that Charlie’s story could just be beginning, and that’s kind of exciting. 

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