Newest Review: ... the government agents? Watch it to find out more. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Firstly, I must say that I've never read Stephen Ki... more
I'm a Firestarter, twisted Firestarter!!
Member Name: Mcdaddy
Date: 04/05/01, updated on 04/05/01 (144 review reads)
Advantages: A truely brilliant conversion of a well written story!
Disadvantages: Special effects are a bit dated, but with the release date it is to be expected!
As some of you may, or may not, be aware of I am a bit of a Stephen King fan, having nearly all of his books and meeting him in person. Such is the case now that whenever I hear of a new or old film that has been adapted from one his novels, I make it a point to try to watch it. Unfortunately this usually backfires on me as I end up watching the film, comparing it to the excellent book that it has been grafted from, and decide that the director should have just left it alone.
So with this uncertainty in my mind I nervously decided to watch 'Firestarter', a book of King's that I had thoroughly enjoyed. However, before this I had watched the television movie adaptation of IT, and was still recovering from the visual and verbal torture that this film had achieved. Was I ready for some director to have the audacity to ruin another one of this mans great novels?!
The story itself revolves around a young girl (played by a very young, and at that time, innocent Drew Barrymore) who has the ability to start fires by literally thinking about. The only problem is, is that she is unable to control this ability, and emotional changes in her can trigger of a fire in the house, or set someone’s hair on fire! This strange ability is not however due to a freak of nature. Once again it is the good old US Government and their genetic tests and altered drug tests that led to our Drew being how she is.
Her mother and father both got involved in a medical survey, it was promoted as being completely harmless. But little did they know the Government was manufacturing the drugs that they were taking in an attempt to awaken the inert parts of the human brain that lead to ESP and extra abilities. Individually the Government were not worried about the results as they would monitor from a distance all of the people who participated. What they did not count on was two of the subjects to fall in love, get married and have little Drew.
her develops the ability of mental suggestion and persuasion. He can literally tell you do something and you will succumb to his will. However, every time he does this it damages his brain a little more, and he knows that eventually it will lead to him having a massive brain haemorrhage, and dying. The mother’s talent is less active, and as a result she hardly knows that it is there at all. She has a small amount of telekinetic energy, which she uses to move objects with her mind.
Once they realise what these tests have done to them, and what they have conceived in Drew, they fear for the safety of their beloved daughter. They try to train her to focus her ability, and to keep her feelings locked up inside. That way if she doesn't appear to have any special powers, or abilities, the Government won't take her away to do tests on her.
Realistically this is a movie adapted from a Stephen King model; yep you guessed it, the Government find out that their little girl is a walking flame-thrower. And in true US Government tradition they instantly think of her as the ultimate weapon and how to clone her ability and incorporate into others, creating an army of 'Firestarters'.
Like any good father would, he takes little Drew away when he discovers that the Government now knows everything about her. As we however know, you can not run from the US Military for long, and eventually catch up with the two run aways.
What happens next? Well if you have the ability to light a Barbecue at 90 paces what do you think happens?!? But that’s as far as I go, the last half of the film more than makes up for the dull character and story building beginning. And the performance from Barrymore, who is maybe two or three years older in this than she was in her appearance in ET, is fantastic.
I have to admit that watching this film restored a sense of relief in my heart that yet another great story had not been flogged to
death just to make a profit. If you are a fan of Stephen King I suggest you watch this film. If you however are not, then I still suggest that you watch this film, because it doesn't make a difference if you have read the book or not, the build up of the storyline explains what has happened in the past, and what is taking place in their present time.
A very good conversion of a superb novel.