Earth to Echo

Directed By: Dave Green

Starring: Teo Halm, Brian "Astro" Bradley, Reese C. Hartwig, and Ella Wahlestedt

This Fourth of July has brought us all sorts of movies at the mainstream box office, just not particularly great ones.  While Deliver Us From Evil offers a rather routine possession flick, Melissa McCarthy's Tammy offers a waste of money we all can loathe.  The remaining film I've yet to review is Earth to Echo. Now admittedly, I've held off on writing this review.  The film is targeted at an audience much younger than me.  As such, I had little or no interest in the film.  Having seen this sci-fi adventure from Dave Green, I can say that I was right.  However, I do see some merit in the film for its target audience.

Tuck (Brian "Astro" Bradley), Alex (Teo Halm), and Munch (Reese C. Hartwig) are a trio of best friends whose young lives are being disrupted by a highway construction project.  Because of the use of eminent domain, everyone in their Nevada neighborhood is being forced to move elsewhere.  Their friendship is about to become long distance, and none of them are elated about this.  Today marks their last day living together in the same neighborhood.  Their time together is going to end with a bang, however.

The boys all begin receiving strange signals on their phones.  They're each seeing oddly colored shapes on display.  They eventually determine that they've received a map pointing to some location in the desert.  The boys decide to make their final night together something worth remembering.  Lying and telling their parents that they're spending the night at each other’s houses, the boys grab their bikes and hit the road to find out what this map is showing them.  When they arrive at the location, they find a scrap of metal.  Believing it to be a piece of junk, they deem the trip a waste of time.  Soon, however, that metal comes to life, and the boys realize that they've discovered an alien life form.  Naming this metal "Echo", the boys decide to help the robotic creature on his mission, to rebuild his ship and go home.  Eventually, they're joined by their classmate Emma (Ella Wahlestedt) on this adventure.

I've said it on many occasions that I value creativity and originality, and Earth to Echo is no exception to this axiom of mine.  Stealing elements from far superior films like E.T. and Super 8, Earth to Echo lacks that creativity and originality we all crave.  Unfortunately, this is a movie you can predict in its entirety based on the theatrical trailers alone.  There's nothing revolutionary or groundbreaking about this film that adult moviegoers will find worthwhile.  After all, we've seen it many times before in films past.

While I have my gripes with Earth to Echo, the film is decently entertaining.  The cast has solid chemistry and delivers a few chuckles along the way.  I'm sure that's enough for younger moviegoers who won't see the film in the larger context of the alien sub-genre.  Still, the film could be so much more.  As it stands, Earth to Echo gets a 0.06% rating.  Have a couple of glasses of Chardonnay with this one.