Wasn’t this movie better when it was called E.T.?
Set in Nevada (please tell me this is near Area 51), Alex (Teo Halm), Tuck (Brian “Astro” Bradley) and Munch (Reese Hartwig) are three lifelong teen pals suddenly facing a forced break up. They all live in the same neighborhood, but that place is being demolished to make way for a new freeway. All of the neighbors are selling their homes and moving to new places (not voluntarily), so the three musketeers have only one last night together.
As they prepare to say goodbye, everyone’s cell phones start to go haywire! The boys figure out that the mysterious image on the screen is a map to the middle of the desert, so, because we wouldn’t have a movie without this little twist, they decide to sneak off one night and find out where that map leads.
As you can imagine, it leads to a mysterious alien they name Echo, and poor little Echo just wants to go home.
Can the trio help Echo phone home?
I mean, can the trio help Echo make his way home?
Earth To Echo is a fine, middle of the road, not too bad and not too great movie that will entertain kids without putting parents to sleep. However, the adults may walk out of this movie with a craving for Reese’s Pieces.
We have seen the story before, so director Dave Green tries to spice it up visually with all sorts of point of view shots, as if the entire movie was shot by young Tuck and we are seeing the footage from one of his plethora of cameras. Even the modern touch is something you have seen time and time again, but I suspect and hope 98% of the tweens in this audience have not seen a Paranormal Activity movie, so this might be a tad novel to them.
The rest of it all is OK. The kids are lively and form a nice group, which helps Earth To Echo from getting bogged down in the non-special effects moments. The emotion is fine, but the movie never has big highs or plunging lows. It has enough emotion to keep the plot moving along as Green and writer Henry Gayden rely on the audience sympathizing with the cute tykes out of some sort of responsibility instead of giving us much in the script to move us.
Earth To Echo makes the grade, but barely. It isn’t meant for the young kids who prefer cartoons over live action, but most children over the age of 8 should be able to handle it and enjoy.
Earth To Echo is rated PG for some action and peril, and mild language.