Movie Review: Earth to Echo (2014)

Published On July 15, 2014 » 2497 Views» By admin »

Earth to Echo Film PosterGoonies, meets ET, meets Batteries not Included

4 stars

If you’re looking for a family friendly summer movie, then Earth to Echo might be a good choice for you. A movie reminiscent of “Batteries Not Included,” Earth to Echo is simple family fun that won’t be difficult for adults to enjoy.

Tuck (Brian Astro Bradley), Munch (Reece C. Hartwig) and Alex (Teo Halm) are a trio of best friends who are about to be broken up forever. Their neighborhood stands in the way of a highway construction project and is about to be obliterated, forcing their families to move away from each other. Then, two days before the big move, the boys start getting strange signals on their phones. Enter the brainy Emma (Ella Linnea Wahlestedt), who helps the boys discover the source of the mystery. It’s a tiny alien trying to find his way home.

Think Goonies, meets ET, meets Batteries not Included. The movie is technology heavy, with eighth graders using their cell phones like lifelines. The little alien is more machine than organic matter, but still adorable.

Echo has the ability to build maps and send them to the boy’s cell phones, and they follow those maps to get the things Echo needs to repair himself and get home. It’s a bit like a treasure hunt movie with aliens.

Earth To Echo

The movie covers all the standard tropes, with an evil land developer and group of spunky adventure driven kids. I like the addition of showing children’s tech savvy skills, as this is by no means an exaggeration. Whenever I break my phone, I bring it to my 12-year-old son to fix.

This is the kind of kid’s movie they just don’t make anymore. Most kid’s offerings are over the top CGI productions or gross out comedies. This is a traditional kid’s adventure movie with a technology twist and it’s a refreshing change of pace.

Parents will enjoy this film because they will be reminded of the kid’s adventure movies in their 80s heyday. Kids will like it because it stays engaging and suspenseful and has a cute alien. Kids will be able to connect with the kids in this film, as their dialog is realistic and they aren’t pandering or talking down to the audience. These are the kids you see on your block everyday.

The movie manages to bring veiled adult themes to the plot, without going over the top and making it depressing or confusing. This is often a hard thing to pull off but the movie manages to do it flawlessly.

earth-to-echo-12

ECHO

Earth to Echo is a cute movie that everyone can enjoy. It will make the adults who grew up in the 80s nostalgic for this type of storytelling. It doesn’t pander and it doesn’t talk down to its tween audience. Instead, it treats the kids as actual fully fleshed out characters. With companies that are far too focused on merchandising and special effects, Earth to Echo is a classic that is based on classics.

One point that I did not like, was the MTVish scene of high school kids at a party drinking.  The whole thing is handled as just something that high schoolers do, and eventually they get busted, but it was an unnecessary promotion of this type of behavior.  Like myself, parents can turn this into a positive with some healthy discussion.

When it comes to kid’s movies, you have kid’s movies that they drag their parents to, kid’s movies that adults can manage to sit through and kid’s movies that adults would go to alone. While Earth to Echo isn’t one that most adults will sit through on their own, it is a movie that adults won’t dread going to with their kids.  Watch eh official trailer below:

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