Firestarter Rekindled starts out promisingly. The characterisation of Charlie now in her twenties is credible and Margeurite Moreau gives a decent performance in the role. There are some witty images like her keeping a fire extinguisher beside her bed in case she wakes up with bad dreams and inadvertently starts fires and an amusing scene where she picks up a guy in a bar for a bout of PG-rated sex on the hood of a car, only for her to blow up the alley surrounding them and cause the asphalt to boil in the heat of passion. There is a spooky scene where she spends the night in Danny Nuccis hotel room and turns the lights on to find the entire room a charred mess. There is even a cute scene in the script that compares the difference between the superheroic Superman and the mundanely powered Batman as a metaphor for Charlie wishing she could be rid of her superpowers and be ordinary.
However, after a promising start, Firestarter Rekindled goes downhill. After about the point where we get to the introduction of the psychically superpowered kids, the mini-series starts to turn into cheesy sci-fi. Indeed, the show feels less like an exploration of someone with psychic powers as the original was, than it does a B-movie version of X-Men (2000). The scenes with Charlie combating the evil psychic kids become very comic-bookish.
Moreover, the mini-series is badly padded. Coming in at 162 minutes, the show could easily have done with three-quarters of an hour less running time with little noticeable difference. What we have feels like something that exists down at the level of a B-budget franchise film say a Wishmaster or a Children of the Corn sequel that has been lengthily extruded to make a three-hour mini-series. There are a number of extraneous subplots the death and revival of Deborah Van Valkenburg, a good many scenes with Malcolm McDowell and the kids that have been tossed in to pad out the length. The mini-series is certainly underplotted for the length of time the story is required to fill.
The mini-series retells large sections of Firestarter generally faithfully at least up until the end of the original story, which has been changed to have Charlie incinerate her father and leave Rainbird alive. The role of Rainbird has been recast with Malcolm McDowell who gives a fey performance that becomes decidedly campy at times. It is certainly hard to believe that the Rainbird we have here is the same character essayed by George C. Scott in the original film, while the characters American Indian background has been omitted altogether. Indeed, Rainbird is now less of an assassin than an evil version of X-Mens Professor Xavier.