Andrew and Vicky McGee met while earning money as guinea pigs for an experiment at college. The experiment was shrouded in suspicion and mystery, and seemed to be related to psychic abilities. The two were married and had a daughter, Charlie, who has the ability to start fires by merely thinking about it, also known as pyrokinesis. Naturally, the government takes a great interest in Charlie, and operatives from the secret department known as "The Shop" want to quarantine and study her.Written by
Murray Chapman <email@example.com>
Charlie McGee is a happy, healthy eight-year-old little girl. Normal in every way but one. She has the power to set objects afire with just one glance. It's a power she does not want. It's a power she can't control. And, each night, Charlie prays to be just like every other child. But there are those who will do everything in their power to find her... or destroy her. See more »
Firestarter the movie and Firestarter the novel (written, of course, by Stephen King) have a common hindrance. Both are fine for their first half, with plenty of pace and action and even a few scares. But both book and film peter off in their second half, as the chase scenario which dominates the opening segment becomes a slow, tedious and frequently unconvincing cat-and-mouse affair set in a secret scientific centre known as The Shop.
David Keith is a strange choice for Andy McGee, a father with mysterious powers (courtesy of an experiment gone wrong) whose daughter Charlie has even greater powers which enable her to set objects alight at will. The Shop want her so that they can kill her, as they have reason to believe she has no true control over her powers and may one day inadvertently nuke the planet Earth. As Charlie, Drew Barrymore is reasonably good, especially in the scenes where she gets mad and starts off a blaze. Best performance of the lot comes from George C. Scott, as a seemingly educated assassin who occasionally says something which hints that he well and truly out of his mind. It's a calculated and chilling display. Less worthy are the roles of Freddie Jones (bizarre and exaggerated) and Martin Sheen (bland and boring).
I would say that Firestarter is worth catching if you're a fan of King or Barrymore, and although I shouldn't say this I'm sure pyromaniacs will revel in it. However, for the discerning audience there's little here worth making a special effort to see. It just comes and goes like the wind and, for want of a better word, doesn't really ignite.
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