Firestarter II: Rekindled

02/17/2017 15:18

Film: Firestarter II: Rekindled

Year: 2002

Director: Robert Iscove

Writer: Philip Eisner

Starring: Marguerite Moreau, Malcolm McDowell and Dennis Hopper



This film begins with a young woman in bed, having a nightmare. She is played by Marguerite Moreau. Her nightmare is back when she was a child, played by Skye McCole Bartusiak. Her family was living in the woods in a cabin surrounded by snow when they were attacked by special agents. Her mother, played by Karrie King, was shot by one of them and Bartusiak flees with her father, played by Aaron Radl. Moreau wakes up from the dream and her bed is on fire. She puts it out with a fire extinguisher like nothing happened. She has the power of pyro-kinesis.

We then meet a man outside of a hospital working on his laptop with coffee; he is played by Danny Nucci. His brother comes out, played by Jeremy Hoop. Nucci refused to go inside to see their dad and this bothers Hoop.

Nucci works for a company that pays out class action settlements. He was given a file for Charlene ‘Charlie’ McGee, which he from Darnell Williams, but he claims he has already tried twice to find her and there is nothing. He states she died in a fire at the farm. He is also given a file for a man named James Richardson as well. This one he gets a lead that he is paid a check from a college. He tries to get Williams to check it out, but he tells him he is busy and that it isn’t far away.

Moreau is caught reading a thesis paper from the same college that is paying Richardson, as it is kept in the archive of the library she works at. She is told to put it back where she found it and get back to work. Nucci tries for the school to give him information about the man he is looking for, but they can’t. He then bumps into Moreau when he is going into the library. He goes to the archive where she spends a lot of time and goes through the information from that same college. He finds a tape and takes it, sending it to his brother to have him convert it so Nucci can watch it on his laptop.

The boss who gave Nucci the file is played by John Dennis Johnston. When Nucci tried to give it back, he told him to keep working on it and why he is now at the archive. We see Johnston meet with a man who has been burned pretty badly, played by Malcolm McDowell. There appears to be an operation that they are going to be running and they need these last three people found. They meet with the board of directors to allow them to rob a bank in a remote town to show that their operation really works.

That night we see Moreau go to a bar where she is dancing. A man comes up behind her and they start to kiss. They go outside and come close to having sex when she leaves. He is upset. We then see that when she gets turned on, she can’t control her powers and sets the alleyway ablaze.

Nucci is awoke up by his brother the next morning and he then learns the people he is looking for were part of an experiment back in the day for a drug called Lot 6. This takes him to a doctor who has passed way, but his wife still has all of his data. Nucci starts to go through it when Moreau shows up. They realize they are looking into the same thing and start to talk. That night she goes back to his room and they start to make love. The same thing happens and she flees. He turns on the light and notices his room is burnt, he then realizes she is Charlie.

He tells his work that he found her and he convinces her to come forward so she can get money from the lawsuit. She tells him that she doesn’t believe that is what they really do. We then see that she is right. Williams kills Deborah Van Valkenburgh, another survivor of this experiment, but is she really dead?

McDowell is still obsessed with Moreau. He also has a group of children with different psychic abilities. They are the ones that are going to be used to rob the bank. McDowell really wants Moreau back as he never got the chance to kill her. Will she turn herself over to the company or realize it before it is too late? Will Nucci realize what he has really been doing? One of the boys has the ability to suck in energy, can he be stopped? What will happen?

This was the second time that I’ve viewed this one. What I noticed first is that there are two great actors in this film, McDowell and Dennis Hopper. Hopper plays another survivor who participated in the experiment who can see the past, present and future so he has almost an omnipresent position. That role suits him. I don’t think McDowell played the role of John Rainbird that well though. In the novel he is a Native American, which George C. Scott played very well and was done up to look the part. McDowell was definitely out of place. I did like that this film took what the worry about Moreau was, that the older she gets the stronger her powers become. I also like creating a character that can absorb her energy. The boy goes through a change where he starts to talk and then becomes stronger and meaner toward the other boys the more he gets. He also assumes sort of a leadership role over an older boy. I thought that was a good concept for the film. Moreau is easy on the eyes as well.

There were a lot of issues that I had with this film. The first one being that this film took the basic concept from the previous film and novel, then did its own thing. I absolutely hate that this is a sequel, because it didn’t bring one thing over to this film outside of the most basic story points. As someone who is most interested in the story, that really made this film hard to watch for me. This film was also hampered by being made for television. It runs very long, which tells me it was a couple night premiere. I think this film would have been helped by cutting it down to the 90-100 minute level, because it was boring. I think there is too much time of nothing happening. I also don’t see what the point of McDowell’s final plan was or how his character was even alive. He was clearly killed in the original, but as I have stated, this one ignores pretty much everything from that so it makes sense to bring him back due to this.

Now with that said, I wouldn’t view this film. It is below average with not a lot of redeeming qualities. I loosely call this film a sequel as it does not follow anything from the previous film. It re-shot all of the flashbacks, which tells me it couldn’t get the rights to put them in this film. The acting was subpar. This film did have some good concepts of having Charlie come of age and getting vastly stronger. I also liked the boy that could absorb energy as her nemesis. The film runs too long and is boring. I would only watch this if you really liked the original and see what the continuation of the story could be, but don’t be surprised if things you know happened are thrown out of the window. This one could have definitely done better by getting it down or by not making it television.


My Rating: 4 out of 10