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FIRESTARTER (2022)

"Powerful Redemptive Ending"

What You Need To Know:

FIRESTARTER is a science fiction thriller about a young girl named Charlie with enhanced pyrokinetic power who’s chased by an evil government agency but hidden and protected by her parents. When the agency sends a ruthless agent named Rainbird to capture Charlie, her mother is killed, but Charlie and her father escape and go on the run, but Rainbird and the agency’s agents are hot on their trail.

This FIRESTARTER has an excellent plot or story structure. The movie is exciting and moving in parts. However, the direction and cinematography suffer from a low budget. Best of all, FIRESTARTER has a strong Christian, biblical worldview. It promotes justice, self-defense, sacrifice, penance, mercy, and forgiveness. The movie’s redemptive ending has a much better ending than Stephen King’s book. Also, one scene contains a moving prayer to God and two references to an afterlife in Heaven. In addition, the movie clearly opposes big government abuse of power and denial of human rights. However, FIRESTARTER contains some foul language (including a few “f” words), intense violence, and some light occult, humanist content and ambiguous morality.

Content:

(CC, BB, ACAC, PP, FR, O, H, LL, VVV, N, AA, M):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Strong Christian, biblical worldview with moral elements promoting justice, self-defense, prayer to God in one scene, belief in a soul, two references to an afterlife in Heaven, sacrifice, penance, mercy, and forgiveness, with strong opposition to big government overreach and deprivation of basic human rights in the name of “science,” marred by a light and somewhat ambiguous antinomian attitude toward full justice for violent crimes and by occult, humanist elements that a person’s nascent or latent telekinetic, mental powers can be enhanced by humanist/scientific creation of a serum

Foul Language:
14 obscenities (including four “f” words), one JC profanity, one GD profanity, three OMG profanities

Violence:
One extreme image of a man with a burned half a face, two other burnt corpses, image of title character’s corpse, assassin shoots several police, man shoots several men in heat-resistant suits trying to capture girl, assassin holds girl against her will, girl with special powers starts fires against people trying to capture her, man’s nose and eyes bleed when you tries to bend people’s will with his mind control power, girl accidentally sets fire to her mother’s arms, girl sets fire to man who tries to pull a gun and shoot her, evil government agents shoot man in leg, girl sets fire to two people in a difficult showdown situation, father tells daughter to destroy facility of bad government agency, and father has a serious discussion with daughter about the issues surrounding self-defense and killing and their psychological, spiritual effects on a person

Sex:
No sex

Nudity:
Brief upper male nudity

Alcohol Use:
Beer drinking and older man gets drunk on it in one scene

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking or drugs; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
Some lying, government agency spreads fake news and lies against the title character’s father, bullying but rebuked, girl uses mind control to take a boy’s bike when she goes after her kidnapped father, and parents argue over how best to protect their daughter.

More Detail:

FIRESTARTER (2022) is a surprisingly good science fiction thriller about a young girl with enhanced pyrokinetic power who’s chased by evil government agents but protected by her father after one agent kills her mother in a botched attempt to snatch the girl. Loosely based on a 1980 Stephen King, the new FIRESTARTER movie makes the ending much more redemptive and uplifting by promoting sacrifice, penance, mercy, and forgiveness, but MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for a few “f” words, a belief that supernatural or occult powers can be enhanced by science, and strong violence where the girl defends herself and is defended violently by her father and an unexpected helper.

The movie opens with the father, Andy, whose real name is Aaron, having a nightmare about his daughter, Charlie, setting a mobile above her crib on fire when she was a baby. He wakes up and goes to the kitchen to find Charlie there. Charlie’s mother, Vicky, wakes up too, and the father starts making pancakes, even though it’s still dark outside.

It turns out that the family is on the run because an evil government agency wants to experiment on Charlie and enhance her telekinetic powers to start fires, move objects, and read and control minds. The movie reveals that, when they were in college, Andy and Vicky were part of the agency’s program to find people with nascent telekinetic powers and enhance their powers with a serum called Lot 6. Vicky’s power to move objects was enhanced, but Andy’s power to read and control minds was enhanced even more. However, using his power gives him intense headaches and tiny brain hemorrhages making his nose and eyes bleed. The agency is really interested in their daughter, though, because she doesn’t seem to display any negative effects from using her telekinetic and telepathic powers. Charlie not only inherited both parents’ powers. She also displayed signs of a new power, the power to start fires. Charlie and her parents escaped the agency’s control when she was an infant and have been on the run ever since.

The family has had a rough time being on the run. They have to remain off the grid and can’t use computers or traceable smartphones. Also, Charlie has a difficult time controlling her powers, especially her power to create fire. Also, when her power builds up inside her, she can release it the most if she screams. So, her parents are afraid that Charlie will set the boy who’s been bullying her on fire accidentally. Vicky believes they should train Charlie to use her powers so she can control them, but Andy disagrees.

Meanwhile, the new head of the agency searching for Charlie and her family, Dr. Hollister, wants to make a renewed effort to capture Charlie. She asks for help from the scientist who created the serum, but he refuses. He says creating the serum was a mistake, and the best thing for the agency to do is to terminate or kill Charlie. So, Hollister rehires a retired, ruthless agent with enhanced powers, named Rainbird, to track down Charlie and her family. He gets a bead on the family when the school bully and his friends force Charlie to run to the girls’ restroom to contain her fire power, which is starting to display itself. Charlie creates a small explosion in one of the stalls when a teacher runs after her. The incident attracts the fire department and gets on the local news. The authorities think Charlie was playing with matches and gasoline, or something similar.

Back home, the family starts to pack up to go on the run again. Andy decides to calm Charlie’s emotions by taking her out for ice cream. While they’re gone, Rainbird shows up and subdues Vicky. When Andy and Charlie return, Rainbird grabs Charlie and puts his hand over her mouth. Andy asks Rainbird where his wife is. He also tries to use his mental powers to get Rainbird to release Charlie. Meanwhile, Charlie’s powers start building inside her. The room starts shaking and her mother’s dead body falls out of a locked closet. The shock of that helps Charlie release her powers and set the room on fire. This enables Charlie and her father to escape from Rainbird.

Charlie and her father have little time to mourn Vicky’s death. They’re on the road again. However, Rainbird and Dr. Hollister’s other agents are hot on their trail. Also, the other agents have special lenses that can help them cancel out Charlie and her father’s mind control powers. It’s only a matter of time before Rainbird and/or the agents capture them.

FIRESTARTER has an excellent plot or story structure. The movie is exciting and moving in parts. However, the direction and cinematography suffer from a low budget that dilutes the movie’s impact. For example, the scenes in the family’s home are shot with low lighting, which makes the scenes look muddy. The movie doesn’t start to take off until the story expands to the outside world where Charlie and her father are being chased. The third act is much more compelling, and the resolution of the conflicts between the characters is very satisfying. Here, it should be noted that it’s better to have a good third act and a bad first act rather than having a great first act and a bad third act.

Best of all, this FIRESTARTER has a strong Christian, biblical worldview. It promotes justice, self-defense, sacrifice, penance, mercy, and forgiveness. The ending is particularly redemptive, supporting penance, mercy and forgiveness. It’s a much better ending than in Stephen King’s book. Also, one scene contains a moving prayer to God, as well as two references to an afterlife in Heaven. In addition, the movie clearly opposes big government abuse of power and denial of basic human rights. However, FIRESTARTER contains foul language, including a few “f” words, intense violence, and some light occult, humanist content and ambiguous morality. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.