July 2, 2022
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The primary “Firestarter” (1984) starred a not-yet-10-year-old Drew Barrymore as a woman who can begin fires — together with her thoughts, which makes all of the distinction. It was based mostly on a Stephen King novel that wedded “Carrie”-redolent telekinesis to the type of paranoia of “Three Days of the Condor.” The little lady’s energy, and the powers of her mother and father, had been the outcomes of shadowy authorities company experiments.

That’s true right here, too, in a remake directed by Keith Thomas from a script by Scott Teems. However the paranoia theme, which has the lady, Charlie (Ryan Kiera Armstrong), and her household residing off the grid on the film’s outset, is shortly shrugged off. This film brushes apart plenty of issues — essentially the most stunning factor about it’s how soggily noncommittal it’s.

Zac Efron pays Andy, Charlie’s father, and he’s received powers, too — with a twitch of the neck, he can cloud folks’s minds. Solely this motion pains him and makes his eyes bleed like Ray Milland on the finish of “X: The Man With the X-Ray Eyes.” Charlie has inherited his energy (with out the bleeding).

You’d suppose this could add some punch to the proceedings, however no. The ultimate face-off between Charlie and a supercilious army villain (Gloria Reuben) is startlingly anticlimactic, and the following when-children-kill coda is simply plain limp. That is additionally a type of motion pictures the place you’ll be able to’t fairly inform if the particular results are janky on function.

The perfect factor on this film is the tense digital rating, concocted by Daniel Davies, Cody Carpenter and his father, John Carpenter. Sure, that John Carpenter — one of many nice American administrators, and one who makes style movies nearly solely. Because the outdated journal puzzles used to ask, what’s improper with this image?

Firestarter
Rated R for fireplace, cursing. Operating time: 1 hour 34 minutes. In theaters and on Peacock.

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