“Earth to Echo”
Release Date: Wednesday July 2nd, 2014
Runtime: 89 minutes
Cast: Teo Halm, Astro, Reese Hartwig, Ella Wahlestedt
People of Earth, please stop comparing “Earth to Echo” to “ET”. Seriously, cut it out. Got it? Le capisci? (I’m learning Italian! #futurepost #spoilers #AreHashtagsInBlogPostsAThing? #Yes)
It is kind of like comparing a McRib to Jack Stack Barbecue.There are superficial similarities, but one brings you joy, and the other brings sadness and regret.
“Earth to Echo” starts with a promising premise, but fails to execute. The plot revolves around three close friends who are about to have to move away from each other. They begin to receive strange signals on their phones. These signals lead them into a desert where they found a small alien robot, who they name Echo, who needs their help.
This movie is shot in the trendy found footage style and it doesn’t work. The home video look is generally used to lend a movie a sense of realism or authenticity, but a movie about kids helping a robot alien doesn’t need to feel realistic, it needs to feel magical. This is a premise that deserves to look beautiful and awe-inspiring, not cheap and hard to watch.
Another issue I had is that these kids go off on their own, break various laws throughout the film and have virtually no repercussions. From a parent’s perspective, this is not a message I want sent to children.
Finally, I don’t ask for perfect logic in a kids’ science-fiction movie, but there were several plot holes and logic problems that are difficult to overlook. The government (or something, they don’t really specify) are posing as construction workers and displacing an entire neighborhood in the effort to find the alien, and nobody cares. Nobody questions anything or has any sense of curiosity as to why they are forced to move under extremely questionable circumstances.
Overall, the movie is OK as a summer distraction for kids, but the oft-made comparison to “ET” does it no favors and anyone that has seen “ET” that goes in with those expectations will be terribly disappointed.
On my 1-10 scale, with 1 being the worst, 5 being the best and 10 being the worst again, I give “Earth to Echo” a 1.789 with an emoticon based sub-ranking of: “Groooooaaaaaaaannnnnnn”