EARTH TO ECHO Movie Review
Earth to Echo is pegged as a kids movie, and rightfully so. Adults may find it nauseating to experience the first person camera angles, Blair Witch style shaky cam movements, and the normal pre-teen bickering and bravado being thrown around like it was actually necessary to move the story along.
The film is centered around a neighborhood being forcibly relocated in order to make room for a highway expansion. As a result, three off-beat best friends – Alex (Theo Halm), Munch (Reese Harwig), and Tuck (Brian “Astro” Bradley) – start to document their last week together, and eventually uncover some odd occurrences that predictably get rooted back to the construction site through a long road of tangents.
The boys discover a map to an unknown location in the Nevada desert and decide using their pre-teen rationale to follow it, in the middle of the night, on their last night together, without their parents knowing. When they arrive at their destination, instead of a pot of shining gold or some miraculous treasure, they find what appears to be a dilapidated metal object. They also find that there are other people in the desert, in the middle of the night, who appear to be searching for something as well.
Conveniently, Munch is a hoarder and takes possession of aforementioned piece of metal. The boys soon find out that what they have is really a small-ish (super cute) alien, who they later name “Echo,” that takes them on a wild ride to collect parts for a key that will eventually turn on a spaceship that has been hidden under the neighborhood. There are a lot of bumps along the way, but it doesn’t take long for the boys to put all the pieces together and realize that they are being pursued by an unknown government agency and not local construction workers.
All’s well that ends well, and the alien ship departs without killing off everyone or leaving insurmountable destruction in its wake. The boys are left with an epic story to tell their grand-kids (because really, who else would believe them?) and everyone goes about their lives.
There was nothing about this film that was exceptionally original and although there were a few kitschy moments spread throughout the hour and a half extraterrestrial drama, nothing to really rave about either.
The bright spot in this film was without a doubt newcomer Theo Halm who played Alex. Although all the main characters arguably had issues, Alex was facing the difficulties of coming to terms with his life as an adopted child. As the three boys engage with the alien for a considerable length of time, it is clear that him and Alex develop a connection. Halm brings his characters to life with raw emotions that are distributed appropriately throughout the film, and comes across as the most sensible of all the boys.
Halm’s character plays in strict contrast to Tuck, who offers a running commentary throughout the movie, and generally is an abrasive and obnoxious character. Munch rides the line for most of the movie. He exhibits an overwhelming sense of anxiety that dictates the risks he’s willing to take, but by giving in to peer pressure, he is actually able to eventually overcome some of his hesitations.