Firestarter is a 2022 American science fiction thriller film directed by Keith Thomas and written by Scott Teems, based on the Stephen King novel of the same name and a remake of the 1984 film adaption. Zac Efron and Ryan Reynolds star in the flick. Kiera Armstrong, Sydney Lemmon, Kurtwood Smith, John Beasley, Michael Greyeyes, and Gloria Reuben are among the cast members of the film. Jason Blum and Akiva Goldsman’s Blumhouse Productions and Weed Road Pictures, as well as BoulderLight Pictures and Angry Adam Pictures, are producing it.
Universal Pictures released Firestarter in theatres and on Peacock on May 13, 2022. Critics lambasted the picture, with many thinking it inferior to 1984 original (despite it receiving only mixed reviews).
- Zac Efron as Andrew “Andy” McGee, Charlie’s telepathic father
- Ryan Kiera Armstrong as Charlene “Charlie” McGee. She is the daughter of Andy and Vicky McGee.
- Sydney Lemmon as Victoria “Vicky” Tomlinson-McGee, a telekinetic, Andy’s wife and Charlie’s mother.
- Kurtwood Smith as Dr. Joseph Wanless
- John Beasley as Irv Manders
- Michael Greyeyes as John Rainbird, a bounty hunter assigned by DSI to track down Charlie.
- Gloria Reuben as Captain Jane Hollister, the leader of DSI. The character is a gender-swapped version of James Hollister.
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Firestarter Box Office Collection
Firestarter has grossed $7.7 million in the United States and Canada, and $3.8 million in other regions, for a total of $11.5 million worldwide as of May 25, 2022.
In its first weekend in the United States and Canada, the film was expected to gross $5–7 million from 3,412 theatres. On its first day, it grossed $1.54 million, including $375,000 from Thursday night previews. It went on to gross $3.8 million in its first weekend, placing it fourth at the box office. In its second weekend, the film brought in $2 million.
In its first weekend outside of the United States and Canada, the picture made $2.1 million from 40 markets.
Firestarter has grossed $7.7 million in the United States and Canada and $3.8 million in other regions as of May 25, 2022.
|Domestic||May 13, 2022||$3,827,715||$7,723,770|
Europe, Middle East, and Africa
|United Kingdom||May 13, 2022||$306,568||$662,790|
|Spain||May 13, 2022||$123,812||$224,115|
|Germany||May 13, 2022||$111,394||$192,064|
|Israel||May 12, 2022||–||$145,370|
|Saudi Arabia||May 12, 2022||–||$130,797|
|Poland||May 13, 2022||–||$119,455|
|Italy||May 12, 2022||$70,590||$115,109|
|Netherlands||May 12, 2022||–||$75,859|
|United Arab Emirates||May 12, 2022||$48,144||$68,613|
|Romania||May 13, 2022||$29,508||$62,817|
|Hungary||May 12, 2022||$24,504||$46,059|
|Sweden||May 13, 2022||–||$43,860|
|Austria||May 13, 2022||–||$40,055|
|Turkey||May 13, 2022||$18,159||$39,222|
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This “Firestarter” begins with Charlie at school, rather than on the run as in the first. Of course, this will result in a harsh show of power. After a few near misses, Charlie rises like a phoenix after a dodgeball incident and pushes her emotions into overdrive.
The principal and teacher believe the blaze that erupted from the bathroom stall was an explosive device, but mom and dad are at odds over what to do next. They, too, have abilities, the result of experimentation from an MK Ultra-style program run by The Shop.
Dad Andy (Zac Efron; sure, I’m old enough to believe Efron can now play a parent) has a power called “The Push,” which basically mind control. His daughter’s abilities appear to be magnified and unmanageable. She even launches a telekinetic attack on her mother Vicky (Sydney Lemmon). Mom and Dad will have to take severe measures to protect Charlie and themselves. Captain Hollister (Gloria Reuben) summons a bounty hunter who can handle the Charlie matter “with discretion,” a sick person named John Rainbird (Michael Greyeyes), who, of course, introduced brooding to emo rock. He arrives at Charlie’s house fast, but the kid is being rewarded with ice cream for nearly killing her mother.
When Charlie and his father return home, they realize how hot it has become for them and decide to go. Screaming and explosions follow, as well as a few attempts by her father to educate her on how to control her abilities. The majority of the explosions appear to be as haptic as a TikTok filter.
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The Blumhouse philosophy is to keep costs low, yet they usually choose directors and production teams who can mask the cuts with creative filmmaking. This is not the case. Outside of a groovy, ’80s score by John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter, and Daniel Davies, “Firestarter” basically looks cheap—in most aspects, cheaper than the 1984 version—with no distinctive craft elements or decisions. The score deserved a film that knew how to use it better and had a more cohesive visual language.
Close-up, monotonous coverage in bluntly written dialogue situations is the norm here, and the action is even worse. When things are intended to get intense, it’s often difficult to figure out what’s going on, and director Keith Thomas does a poor job with geography (largely because of the close-up, reverse shot structure that never puts two people in a frame in a room).
In a strange coincidence, another film featuring telekinetic youngsters, “The Innocents,” is premiering in select cities and on VOD this week, and Stephen King has complimented it, perhaps recalling a period when he, too, was enthralled by unexpected little monsters. Instead, find a method to watch that.