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Firestarter Review: Another Clumsy, Offensive Side of Stephen King’s Belt

Zac Efron no disgusting in Peacock’s adaptation of Stephen King’s 1980 novel Fire starter, but he is losing focus. Occasionally, while watching it, the thought seems uninhibited, as if it were placed by one of the film’s telepathic protagonists: Oh yeah, Zac Efron’s in here. As with the 1984 film version of Fire starter – widely recognized as one of the worst King movie adaptations – 2022 cast and crew Fire starter the names seem too tall for this particular project. Where the new version really trumps the ’84 movie is that in this case at least some of those names work.

Efron stars alongside Sydney Lemmon (HelstromFear the Walking Dead) and Ryan Kiera Armstrong (Anne with the letter E, Black Widow) as Andy McGee, the patriarch of a small clan with destructive psychic powers coveted by an unsavory government agency called the DSI by the CIA. Spiritually, Andy can “push” people to do things, a skill he uses to cure his nicotine addiction for money in an early scene. Vicky (Lemmon) refuses to use her unknown power. And their young daughter, Charlie (Armstrong), treats her pyrokinetic abilities like a mental illness, using breathing exercises and self-soothing techniques to keep them in check.

King’s novel and the 1984 film both begin in intermediate res, after DSI agents finally track down the McGee family and force Andy and Charlie to flee. 2022 Fire starter back up to the point where Charlie’s powers start to reappear so Scott Teems’ embarrassing script can explain a few things. Teems also writes disappointing 2021 Halloween Killsand Fire starter likewise encountered the problem of crude presentation and complex themes. (Much as Halloween Kills, this movie just can’t seem to decide whether murder is bad or not.) Fire starterThe film’s dialogue is ridiculously tasteless, a real sandwich on white bread that only the most skilled members of the film’s cast – namely Kurtwood Smith in a small role as a Regretted government researcher and Michael Greyeyes as the superpowered DSI assassin Rainbird – only able to sound halfway decent.

Greyeyes in particular were a highlight. To be fair, he’s good at everything, and this movie really doesn’t deserve him. (The fact that this time, Rainbird, a Cherokee character, was actually played by a native actor and not George C. Scott as brown, was a feature in the remake’s column.) When Rainbird striding with great purpose and hurling objects around the room with his mind, Greyeyes turns him into an anti-hero to base himself on. And once Charlie (though maybe not the script) fully captures the puberty metaphor and turns her blossoming powers into a grown-up moment, she’s just as good.

That can’t be said for the rest of the cast, who are falling off the iceberg and being pushed out into the ocean in moments where they have to deliver multiple lines at once. Generally, 2022 Fire starter It’s fine when no one is talking. The realistic fire and remote effects are very impressive and professional. And despite some really confusing color grading in the first half of the film, director Keith Thomas manages to show a bit of low-budget flair in the climactic pyromaniacal challenge. (That said, it pales in comparison to the decade-long excess of cocaine at the end of the 1984 film. Score one for the original version.)

Zac Efron on Firestarter, standing outside in front of a house with an open and burning doorway

Photo: Universal Pictures

In another highlight, John Carpenter and his son/bandmate Cody wrote the music for the new song. Fire starter, which reflects Carpenter’s willingness to work on movies as long as he can do the fun parts, then go back to watching basketball. (This Blumhouse production also shares quite a few behind-the-scenes staff with restart Halloween Franchising. As with Greyeyes, this movie probably won’t worthy John Carpenter, but it benefits from his involvement.

Fire starter before the wave of “enhanced” superhero movies of the 2010s – in fact, the S didn’t appear in the ’84 version at all. (Here, sadly, it is uttered, albeit rather late in the film.) And clearly not Fire starter movies that are competing on an equal footing with movies like Color fast or Especially at midnight, both share elements with the paranoid, paranoid sci-fi thriller. But sometimes in the world of Stephen King remakes and adaptations – and especially when the two overlap – the “quality” can get pretty horrendous. Fire starter 2022 is a small improvement over the ’84 original, if only because it has some worthwhile qualities rather than almost none at all.

Fire starter currently showing in theaters and stream on Peacock.

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