Review: Earth To Echo
Earth To Echo isn't a bad attempt at a children's movie depicting the typical coming of age story. It is a movie that children will enjoy and it is definitely an interesting film for children to see.
Adults will know the story, so to an extent the film might be lost to the adult sensibilities and unlike more adult movies of its genre, like Mud, it fails to capture that coming of age experience that often children's adventures are unable to depict and perhaps this is what is missing from the story of 3 boys who find an alien robot called Echo.
The film is well produced and its use of documentary style will introduce children to a different type of film often forgotten in major blockbusters.
Alex, Tuck and Munch are three best friends getting ready to leave their hometown as a new road is to be built.
Tuck (Brian "Astro" Bradley) films his life on every camera possible, from adventure cameras to cameras built into glasses. Alex (Teo Halm) is a foster kid living in the area for 4 years, while Munch (Reese C. Hartwig) is a strange hoarder and the nerdiest of the group. All are infatuated by Emma (Ella Wahlestedt).
Soon the 3 boys find that their town is being evacuated for reasons beyond the building of a new road. Alex finds a map on his phone, which the boy's describe as being digitally barfed on. Through rigorous research on Google and Ask (and other internet forums) the boys discover that the "barf" is actually a map of their town and of the work being carried out by the builders of the new road.
On their final night they decide to go out to follow the map and soon discover Echo, an extra-terrestrial robot.
The boys are brought around the town to find pieces that Echo will need to use to find and open his spaceship. Echo sends maps to their phones and they follow those maps. Soon the boys are joined by Emma, who recuses them from Dr. Lawrence Masden (Jason Gray-Stanford). But soon the boys (and girl) are back in the hands of the bad guys.
The film shows clear tropes of a coming of age children's film. Unfortunately Emma is missing from most of the film, and her character could have been used earlier on to progress the coming of age aspects of the adventure.
Don't expect a big blockbuster film to bring the kids to, this is an easy going adventure, that the kids will probably enjoy more than you, and exposing them to a different type of filmmaking should not be dismissed.
As a children's adventure sci-fi 4/5, as a coming of age children's film 3/5, it won't be as memorable as ET, Stand By Me or The Goonies but it’s definitely a good effort.
As a summer children’s film 3/5 it’s slow in parts and misses some comedy notes.
5/5 for a documentary style film, we’ve seen it all since Blair Witch but Director Dave Green has nicely executed a genre that many filmmakers have failed to tackle.
Earth to Echo is release in cinemas Nationwide on 25 July 2014.