Earth to Echo is about three best friends who stumble upon a mystery, which turns in to an alien. They then start to communicate with the alien and learn that it wants to go home. Taking to their bikes they ride all night helping the alien find parts to rebuild its pod thingy, sound familiar?? I know Mac and Me right?
This film is a sci-fi adventure film that’s presented in the found footage format, it’s directed by Dave Green and written by Henry Gayden.
The good; the kids are great. Teo Halm, Brian Bradley, Reese C. Hartwig, and Ella Wahlestedt really deliver. Just like Super 8,the kids’ performances are what carry the movie, it’s what keeps you invested. From the start I immediately felt connected to all the kids and understood their motivations.
Unlike Super 8, the story is more compelling and once we see the alien (Echo) I still manage to care and stay connected to the story. Both films are essentially pulling from E.T. but Earth to Echo manages to use the found footage format and make it work. The hand held quality/aspect was used to great effect here (no thanks Cloverfield).
The ending is the same as the previously mentioned E.T., and yet manages to still be climactic. This is due to the great build up for end and that the focus is on the kids the whole time, and not on the spectacle of the alien itself or the special effects.
The bad; the posters, it’s way too similar to E.T., which is turning people off of seeing this film. At no point is the E.T. glowing finger done in the movie, it’s more of the kids poking at this thing they found.
The introduction of the girl in to the journey seems a little unlikely, but after the initial introduction she gels just fine.
Overall, I had a lot of fun with this movie. I want more like this, in the 80s there was a slew of this sub genre of kids taking on the world (The Goonies, Monster Squad, The Gate, Flight of the Navigator, Explorers…). I can admit that I was primed to like this movie before I even saw it, but after viewing I was still able to have fun and be thoroughly entertained. So take a kid to see Earth to Echo, or better yet, take the kid in you to the movie and remember a time where we rode our bikes without fears of Amber Alerts and friends’ backyards were virtually our playgrounds.