Stephen King wasn't exactly in peak form when he wrote Firestarter, so this 1984 movie adaptation was at a disadvantage even before the cameras rolled. There were so many King movies being made at the time the weaknesses of this one became even more apparent. In her first film role after her memorable appearance in E.T., Drew Barrymore stars as a little girl whose parents acquired strange mental powers after participating in a secret government experiment. From this genetic background she has developed the mysterious ability to set anything on fire at will, especially... when she's angry. That makes her very interesting to government officials seeking to exploit her skill as a secret weapon. Her father tries to protect her by using his powers of mind-control, while George C. Scott plays an Indian who believes the girl must be destroyed. There is a routine climax involving a lot of impressive pyrotechnics, but none of this is grounded in a dramatically solid foundation, and none of the characters are developed enough for us to care about them. Director Mark L. Lester, who the following year made Commando with Schwarzenegger, keeps the pace cracking along, but nevertheless the movie gradually turns into a laughable thriller with no suspense whatsoever. It's a movie only a pyromaniac could love. --Jeff ShannonOn the DVD: This is a largely no-frills presentation, albeit with a decent anamorphic print. The only extras are the original theatrical trailer and a nicely presented menu. A fold-out booklet has informative liner notes and a reproduction of the film poster. [show more]
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Drew Barrymore stars as Charlie McGee, a young girl who has the ability to start fires purely by the force of her mind, in this adaptation of the Stephen King bestseller. Charlie's difficulties in coming to terms with her unusual gift are intensified when the CIA decide they want to use her for their own ends. She just wants to be treated as a normal choice, and with the help of her father (David Keith), does everything she can to prevent herself from becoming a pawn in the government's game. Also starring Martin Sheen, George C. Scott and Louise Fletcher.