An Adventure As Big As The Universe.
Starring: Teo Halm, Brian “Astro” Bradley, Reese Hartwig, Ella Wahlestedt
Director: Dave Green
2014 | 91 Minutes | PG
“We’ve done everything we could possibly do with this phone. We threw it against the wall… we took it to the phone guy… We took it to the store where we got it from and they said it’s a problem, so you know it’s serious.” – Tuck
After receiving a series of encrypted messages, four friends find a robotic alien being they name Echo. Together they embark on the adventure of a lifetime!
The movie starts with three friends telling their story (via YouTube videos) of being forced to move out of their homes because of a new highway being built through their neighborhood. It’s a surprisingly emotional few minutes. These are kids who essentially only have each other for friends and they’re worried about all being moved to different schools and never making new friends. I moved a few times growing up and I can remember feeling the EXACT same way. The movie kind of won me over right there.
Their story is told completely in found footage style but the movie actually has a bit of the feel of Super 8, ET or Stranger Things, focusing heavily on the friendship between these friends. Both of the above examples are stronger films / shows but Earth to Echo still has plenty to offer.
First off, the alien creature Echo… His CGI is pretty fantastic. He’s a cute character that is easy to love, despite only being able to communicate through a series of beeps, boops and a few phrases it records and plays back to the kids.
Despite the cute character, Earth to Echo isn’t a movie for real young kids. The entire movie is pretty intense as the kids race to save their new alien friend from the agents trying to capture him.
Maybe the biggest accomplishment of Earth to Echo was creating child characters that aren’t so obnoxious that an adult viewer wants to instantly turn the movie off.
Earth to Echo is a movie with a lot of heart. I’m surprised it didn’t catch on more with audiences. Maybe it has to do with the cutesy character being attached to a movie that is probably best suited for the 10-14 age range. That said, I had plenty of fun watching despite being much, much older than that.