I’m not really sure how to talk about this train wreck. It’s painfully obvious that Philip Eisner cared little for the source material, as after watching this I would be surprised if he had seen the film or ever laid hands on a copy of the novel that this film is supposed to follow. Not there isn’t anything to talk about in a positive light about this mini-series, there’s just astonishingly little. That’s right mini-series, and I will declare this to be the worst Stephen King adaptations/derivative work I’ve ever seen, and I’ve watched The Rage: Carrie 2.
Firestarter: Rekindled is amazingly simple, Vincent Sforza’s (Danny Nucci) job is the arduous task of hunting people down. His current roster includes people who took part in a government experiment in the 1070’s featuring the drug Lot-6. Beleving those who took part in the experiment have won a class action law-suit, entitling those who took part to a hefty check. Unsurprisingly one of the names is Charlene “Charlie” McGee, who’s parents took part. So if you’ve seen the original film or read the book you can feel how things are going sideways on this project already, but I digress. Believing Charlie dead, Vincent turns his attention to finding another name, James Richardson (Dennis Hopper). While out in the field trying to track down Richardson, Vincent unbeknownst to him runs across Charlie. She’s been living under assumed names and has been working as a librarian at a local college. She has been using her job, along with her friendship with the wife of late, Dr. Wainless. The two meet and develop a romantic relationship, that after a hot night in bed makes Vincent realize he’s found Charlene McGee. So he contacts his boss John Rainbird (Malcolm McDowell), because that’s his job. This leads to a series of events that in a showdown with John Rainbird and these psychic kids he’s made and raised since birth.
For being damn near three hours long you think there would be more to it and there is a little bit. But not very much, as this film is incredibly poorly paced and terribly written. It’s really the script that just wrecked this film. It’s full of awful dialog and nonsensical plot points. It just leaves in a perpetual state of both boredom and mild confusion.
That said, I have a real gripe with the awkward miscast of Malcolm McDowell as John RAINBIRD. At least Firestarter gave a half heart attempt at making George C. Scott resemble the character on which he’s based. The Rekindling doesn’t even pretend to try. How the character is even alive is just brushed off. There’s no way he survived the first film and in the novel his flesh ran like tallow before he was just straight incinerated. Why not just make something new?
That aside, for what he was given Malcolm McDowell did fantastic. They all did, Dennis Hopper, Margueritte Moreau, John Dennis Johnston, this film really has some great actors and they all do great jobs… with what they have to work with. With such a great cast I’m a little upset that so little attention was given to the script. All this aside, my favorite performance this time is split between Margueritte Moreau and Dennis Hopper. Moreau does great at portraying a Charlie that is still frightened by the events of her childhood, while still being mature and more developed. Dennis Hopper for somehow pulling his character off.
Final thoughts, it’s straight up bad. Not the good kind of bad, but the bad kind of bad and I really want to like it. But it’s a mess from where I’m sitting and can’t imagine what they were thinking making this. Who is this for? It’s not for fans of Stephen King or they would have paid more attention to the source material. It’s not for fans of the original film either due to its many glaring discrepancies. Beyond those groups I don’t know who this would even appeal to. 3/10, because I’m feeling generous.