Echos of E.T. – A review of Earth to Echo
Title: Earth to Echo
Production Company: Relativity Media
Run Time: 89 minutes
Director: Dave Green
Stars: Teo Helm, Brian ‘Astro’ Bradley, Reese Hartwig
Summary: This year’s kid friendly feel good movie is about four friends who help an alien robot escape from planet Earth. It’s E.T. meets first-person narrative, like The Blair Witch Project. Thumbs up!
The trailer for this movie intrigued me, but I wasn’t exactly sure about the premise. The thing that worried me most was how they would pull off the alien.
My worries were unjustified. The little robot is one of the cutest characters I’ve seen on the big screen since Wall-E.
But then again, this movie isn’t entirely about the robot. It’s really about the four kids who find the thing and try to send it home.
Alex, Tuck and Munch are three misfits who live in a development that’s scheduled for demolition to make way for a new superhighway. The families have all started packing and soon, the three friends are destined to part ways for the last time.
Alex (Teo Helm) is used to that. He’s a foster kid who has been placed in numerous homes so relocation is a fact of existence for him. He has finally found friends that he enjoys hanging out with, though, so this transition will probably be harder than most.
Tuck (Brian ‘Astro’ Bradley) is the documentarian of the group. An amateur filmmaker, he’s always carrying along his camcorder to film events. He even has a pair of spy dark glasses so he can film people without them knowing he’s filming them.
Munch (Reese Hartwig) is…well, Munch. He’s the computer geek of the group. And the overweight one as well. Every group has to have one. Everyone picks on him. Except for his friends, of course.
Together, the three ride out into the desert near their homes to investigate a mysterious ping that affects their cell phones. Out in the middle of nowhere they discover a crashed spaceship and the tiny being nestled inside.
At first communication appears elusive. They discover, though, that the creature can mimic sounds. They finally settle on a name for the tiny mechanical – Echo.
Now the trick is getting Echo back to it’s ship so it can go back to where it came from. And of course a government type will try to stop them before they can get Echo on its way.
Along the way, they meet Emma (Ella Wallestedt), a girl with her own family issues. She joins with the group to help rescue Echo. Her presence adds a new level of fun for the group.
The movie overall isn’t as compelling as E.T. the Extraterrestrial. That movie had nuances that this film couldn’t even compare with, but it is still compelling nevertheless.
The kids manage to convey just the right amount of fear and uncertainty when they are captured by the leader of the government think tank attempting to get their hands on the alien. You can’t help but root for the kids to help Echo regenerate and get away.
We’ve seen the story before, most notably in E.T., but the film also borrows elements from another stranded alien story, Starman.
Overall, though, it’s a fun story and an entertaining one. I give Earth to Echo four out of five stars.