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Fantasy - Superheroes

Firestarter (2022)

Duration1h 34m
RatingsUK: 15, USA: R, Spain: 16 
Source of storyA book of the same name by Stephen King and possibly a 1984 film
DirectorKeith Thomas
Writers/ScriptScott Teems
StarringZac Efron, Ryan Kiera Armstrong, Sydney Lemmon, Michael Greyeyes, Gloria Reuben, John Beasley, 
RatingsIMDb: 4.6/10 by 5384 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 13% by 101 reviewers. Review2view: 7/10

Elevator Pitch: Charlie McGee is a preteen girl with the supernatural ability to spontaneously cause fires. She is also telepathic. Her parents were once subject to an experiment where they were injected with a drug which gave them supernatural powers, she the ability to move objects, he telepathy. When Charlie, in a rage, causes an explosion in her school she alerts a secret organisation, “the Shop” who sends out John Rainbird, a bounty hunter, to find her. Rainbird kills Charlie’s mother and she and her father go on the run. They persuade an old farmer to give them a lift, and then to take them to his home but seeing them on the news he calls the police. In the resulting melee Rainbird shoots the policemen and captures the father, certain that Charlie will come to his rescue.

Content: No sex or nudity. In flashback we see the parents being experimented on and also Charlie as a baby igniting the mobile above her cot. The parents argue about how Charlie should be looked after and whether her powers should be controlled or concealed.  We see the parents actioning their own superpowers at various times. Once on the run Charlie and her father are pursued by the shadowy organisation. There are shootouts and once Charlie has gained control of her fire raising capability she uses it a lot.

A View: I suspect that the critic’s negative views are in some way influenced by the 1984 film of which I have no knowledge. I thought it was one of the better presentations of Stephen King’s work, although not a very high bar I agree. The girl was pretty good and although the plot was just a bit unclear (I looked at Wikipedia to clear up some confusion) it did not matter too much because the drama was effective and the climax well presented. So in my view if you would like to see a slightly different superhero film, give it a go.

Other films based on Stephen King novels reviewed on this site include; Pet Sematary, The Dark Tower and The Shining .

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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