A wet firecracker

With its boring action scenes, its monotonous direction and its starving script, Keith Thomas' Firestarter looks more like a simple will-o'-the-wisp than a real inferno.

A wet firecracker

With its boring action scenes, its monotonous direction and its starving script, Keith Thomas' Firestarter looks more like a simple will-o'-the-wisp than a real inferno.

Young Charlie is different. Strange, even, in the eyes of his classmates. But the latter know nothing of the heavy secret that she hides. Because the little girl has inherited a special gift, that of igniting what she sees fit by the simple power of her mind.

The older she gets, the more she struggles to control her devastating urges. This greatly complicates the task of her parents who will try by all means to protect her from an obscure federal agency on their heels... and from herself.

Published in 1980, Stephen King's novel was first the subject of a film adaptation four years later, which then resulted in a miniseries, at the beginning of the millennium. It is chewed on today in the name of [so-called] entertainment, just to make it known to a new generation of moviegoers hungry for thrills.

Sans frisson

The problem? No matter how hard you look, you can't find the slightest thrill, or even the shadow of a spark. Because it is a bland and tasteless rereading that the American filmmaker Keith Thomas offers us today. Even the performers — both Zac Efron and young Ryan Keira Armstrong — struggle to infuse energy and heart into their one-dimensional character that becomes impossible to attach to.

The only quality of this Firestarter lies in the music, signed by the master of horror John Carpenter, nervous and nostalgic at will. Everything else remains a 95-minute ordeal, the memory of which disappears in smoke as soon as the credits arrive.

Firestarter 

A film by Keith Thomas


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