Firestarter (2022) Recap

Jamie

I usually start these posts with a little anecdote. Maybe I’d talk about all the remakes of movies that we forgot we ever watched (looking at you, Flatliners). Or maybe I’d mention how Firestarter brings together two BMT legends for the first time, Stephen King and Zac Efron. Or maybe I’d talk about how Firestarter is part of the recent return to the theaters for films that just a year ago would almost definitely have gone directly to a streamer. That last point is so so important. It really could change the near BMT future dramatically… the House Party remake just got a theatrical release for God’s sake. But no, I won’t mention any of those things. There are only two words that are worthy of Firestarter (2022). Two words that would usually end the post: dog poo.

To recap, Zac Efron and his wife participated in a college drug test fo’ cash that left them with supernatural abilities. They attempt to hide from the baddies that did this to them and use their powers as little as possible, but things are getting out of hand with their daughter, Charlie, who was born with abilities many times more powerful than their own. After a particularly… fiery outburst she ends up… blowing their cover. Another superhuman named Rainbird is sent by the shady government agency who did the experiments to find them, but Charlie is able to fireball him into submission and she and Efron are able to escape (the wife, alas, is not). Now on the run they encounter numerous zany characters. Check out this horrible mean alcoholic man with a paralyzed wife! It’s a laugh-a-minute jaunt across the country as they literally torch animals to death (come on guys, that’s the only thing you can’t do on television). Our main man Efron is captured and the baddies use him to lure Charlie to the sleek government facility where they aim to capture her. But, uh oh! She’s more powerful than they possibly imagined. She continues the trend of making us hate her by torching a man who is on the phone with his pregnant wife (it’s all so unnecessary) before ultimately killing her father in an act of mercy. She burns the facility to the ground and collapses outside where Rainbird picks her up and carries her away to presumably regroup as the supervillain duo: Fire & Rain. THE END.

Wow, this is dog poo. This is next level dog poo. I hated this film. It is horrible. The original is a decent movie and then it seemed like they looked at that and changed everything for the worse. I don’t say this lightly but… I can’t believe I wasted my time watching this shit. What am I doing? Why did I do this? It’s always weird when a last second movie swoops in and has a shot at winning a coveted Smaddie Baddie… somehow feels wrong. I remember that came up regarding Cats. It was a question whether we could really give the top prize to the last film of the year? Feels like recency bias. I’ll have to look back at 2022, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this came out on top for the Strange Wilderness award. That’s how dog poo this was. Gross.

Hot Take Clam Bake! It’s really not that bad. JK. It is that bad. My hot take is really that the girl needed to die. They set it all up. She’s growing stronger. She’s killing innocent cats. She seeks out a man with a pregnant wife so she can steal his key card and torch him, leaving his wife a widow and his unborn child fatherless. Some rando IT people are literally begging her to spare them and she doesn’t. By the end they set her up as a weapon that will likely end the world if she can’t control her power. And yet there she walks away in Rainbird’s arms at the end? No. Rainbird needs to take a page out of the OG Rainbird’s book and karate chop her across the bridge of the nose. Narratively it’s the only choice. It’s what the director clearly wants. Oh, and my literal hot take (but it’s actually a cold take) is that they needed at least 50 more full body burn practical stunts in this film. Firestarter is a nonstarter for me without full body burns. Let’s get rid of this CGI bullshit and go back to the real thing. Hot Take Temperature: Tabasco Pepper.

Patrick

‘Ello everyone! Firestarter? I hardly knew’er! Amirite? Again?! Let’s go!

  • This movie ain’t that bad. It’s horrendous.
  • Dog poo in my face. Somehow off the top rope I genuinely think this is the worst film of 2022.
  • It looks like crap.
  • It is an abomination as far as the source material goes.
  • It is an abomination as far as the original adaptation goes.
  • Everything they change is for the worse.
  • Is the worst thing that they took John Rainbird and made him vaguely into a good guy? Wait, I can hear you say, they couldn’t have done that. John Rainbird? The guy who wants to smash Charlie’s face in order to gain powers in the afterlife? Genuine insane person John Rainbird? He’s now a broken anti-hero who also has powers. Get the f outta town.
  • Is the worst thing that they took the number one most interesting thing about the original (The Shop) and made it into a ten minute sequence of Charlie walking through a few hallways and then burning it down? Instead of a creepy mansion in the middle of nowhere it is now a giant concrete building (I think in Boston)? Soulless garbage.
  • Is the worst thing that they posit that Charlie learns to be the Firestarter, the twisted Firestarter, in about an hour in the woods in a half-hearted montage? You heard that right, all that good stuff of the experiments, and the blocks of ice, and the mysterious explanation of how Charlie harnesses her power … right in the bin, who gives a shit right? Instead Charlie burns a cat to death and a few leaves et voila, she’s the twisted firestarter.
  • Hell, is the worst thing just that you see the mother’s death? That the farmer’s character is ruined? That they’ve mixed up all the powers? That everyone’s powers are mushy nonsense now? That the scientist character is barely there? That the leader of The Shop has like four lines total? That they had to make the family Neoluddites for anything to make sense?
  • There isn’t much else to say. This is probably my least favorite film of the year. What an unexpected twist that was.
  • I think it is a Setting as a Character (Where?) for Western Massachusetts? It is kind of hard to tell, but they are hiding out somewhere rural and they keep on mentioning wanting to go to Boston. And Worst Twist (How?) for the obvious (given the original) semi-twist that Charlie’s dad is going to make her burn The Shop to the ground. Definitely 100% closest to Bad, I did not like this film and will take pleasure in never watching it again.

Read about Firestarter PD, the CBS procedural crime show starring John Rainbird and his group of magical teenagers. Cheerios,

The Sklogs

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