July 9, 2014

Movie Review: Earth to Echo

Let's be right up front with this, Earth to Echo is not an original film, nor is it a great film. However, while it is not original or great, it is certainly entertaining for the family and does not pander to its audience. It is made with love and affection towards family cinema from the 1980's. It is pretty clear that director Dave Green and writer Henry Gayden are paying homage to the films they grew up loving. You know, that really isn't such a bad thing, is it? Sure, in a perfect world everything would always be original, but I'm not holding my breath for that (actually, I am not sure I would want that anyway).

Earth to Echo uses the relatively recent framework of the found footage film and fuses it with the coming of age tale. As I watched it, I was reminded of movies like ET: The Extraterrestrial, The Goonies, Super 8, Chronicle, and CJ7. Again, not really a bad thing. I actually found this movie rather enjoyable, sure it may have something to do with nostalgia for the references, but it still manages to find a draw of its own.

The movie centers on a trio of young boys, Alex (Teo Halm), Tuck (Brian “Astro” Bradley), and Munch (Reese Hartwig), who have become good friends, living in a small Nevada town. As the movie begins, we learn that the townsfolk are all being forced to move as a freeway is being built right through where they all live. The movie chronicles their last night together before they all begin to move in their separate ways. Really, that is a lot of what this movie is about, being alone, abandoned, not having anyone to count on.

Anyway, the boys use their last night together to try and find out what is causing their phones to malfunction. To that end, they drive off into the desert. What they initially mistake for a piece of junk or maybe a piece of a satellite, is actually a little lost and damaged alien robot thing. They decide to help it find the pieces it needs to find its ship and go home. They need to do this while evading the freeway workers who may really aren't freeway workers on their tail.

This really is an enjoyable film and the references to other films does not feel in any way like a rip off of those other movies, it feels much more like genuine homage. Like he is taking the familiar and putting a modern paint job on it. It is not meant to disguise as something new or fresh, but as the fun, adventurous homage it is intended to be. The kids are all solid in their roles, it helps that they are all unknowns, they feel comfortable in their skin and in their roles, which does nothing but help the believability of it.

Earth to Echo is a fun movie that uses its science fiction trappings to really tell its story of adolescent coming of age, the fear of abandonment, the thought that no one understands. These ideas run straight through this film, leading to a few poignant moments with the kids. Derivative? Sure. Entertaining? Certainly.


Related Posts with Thumbnails


Post a Comment