Following The Rage : Carrie 2, we should expect such a surprise. Charlie’s character is none other than a teenaged version of the one played by Drew Barrymore in Firestarter. She is cute and charming but her personality is undetermined. She sometimes is independent and overactive, sometimes vulnerable and troubled. Her way of life and her attitude would have better been exploited in a serious psychological drama than the superficial context this film has to offer.
My most sincere reproach concerns all the complex elements that the story tries to cover. So many sub-developments are thrown in our faces without being detailed that we lose sight of the film’s general concept. First of all, we are forced to reconstruct, with trouble, the scenes of the original using new actors. Then, they try to make us understand what has happened to Charlie after all these years. She is more or les an intellectual by day while being savage and instinctive by night. However, nothing is clear concerning her social affinities. Is it negligence? Was this desired? We will never know the answer.
As in the original Firestarter, the corrupted corporation takes up a lot of space: so much space here that we get to watch useless political discussions. John Rainbird’s character returns, incarnated by a new actor and loses all traces of complexity. His new personality is paper thin. He is evil and survives too long for his own good, in addition to being weak mentally and physically. Even though he is hated by all, no one succeeds in getting rid of him even when the perfect occasion arises. In fact, the film unravels an impressive collection of firearms that are never used at the right moment. Even the so-called hit men find the way to fail in what they excel. The “made-for-TV-movie” etiquette is without a doubt the reason for this constant moderation. Indeed, the violence is minimal and implicit when it finally does happen.
When I thought this film couldn’t fall any deeper in my opinion, Firestarter 2: Rekindled features half a dozen non-autonomous children, each one more insignificant than the other, performing petty roles. You guess it: none of them will die. Influenced by X-Men, these kids come and worsen the film, which wasn’t faring too well on its own, by delivering psychic battles, even between themselves.
The special effects are often blurred to trick the non-initiated but most will feel cheated. If Charlie’s gift of not being affected by the heat of the person burning in her hands causes you to ask too many questions or if her new habit of walking around with a fire extinguisher strapped to her back makes you applaud, maybe you are part of the reason why such sequels keep hitting the shelves. Furthermore, if this is your case, your ecstasy will last a little more than two hours.