Monday, June 30, 2014

Earth to Echo

Releases July 2nd, 2014
1 hr 32 mins
Rated PG
Action/Adventure, Drama


Director: Dave Green


Teo Halm as Alex
Brian "Astro" Bradley as Tuck Simms
Reese C. Hartwig as Munch
Ella Wahlestedt as Emma
Jason Gray-Stanford as Dr. Lawrence Masden
Cassius Willis as Calvin
Drake Kemper as Mookie
Arthur Darbinyan as Pown Shop Owner
Christian Elizondo as Joey
Tiffany Espenson as Charlie
Mary Pat Gleason as Dusty
Sonya Leslie as Tuck's Mom
Peter Mackenzie as Emma's Dad
Virginia Louise Smith as Betty
Myk Watford as Blake
Valerie Wildman as Christine Hastings (Emma's Mom)
Chris Wylde as Security Guard

Review by Stephen M.

Earth to Echo won't wow and astound you but it makes for a nice summer family film for young teenagers to old folks to enjoy.  Younger kids may be frightened by certain elements of the film, with some of the humor perhaps too mature for kids age nine and under.  Quirky friends who share a tight bond on an adventure, and discovering an alien that wants to go home pretty much sums up the film.  Comparisons can be made with films like Goonies and E.T., but Earth to Echo is in a different universe than those classics.

In the film, three friends, who are a bit of social outcasts, faces the final days together as their neighborhood is threaten with a freeway project going through their small town in Nevada.  When the cellphones around the block of one of the friends started "barfing", they discover that the image on the phone is actually a map to a desert location.  Being that this is their last night together, they decide to bicycle out on a night's journey, unbeknownst to their parents, to discover the source of what's going on.

Along their journey, they discover that the construction workers are not who they seem to be, gets a tag along in Emma (Ella Wahlestedt) whom Tuck claims to have kissed, and of course meets a cute little alien they name Echo.  The young actors playing the kids put on strong performances, with hilarious scenes such as Munch (Reese C. Hartwig) getting the phone smacked out of his hand when he disastrously imitates his mother.

In contrast, the adults in the film, especially the lead "construction worker", Lawrence Masden (Jason Gray-Stanford) are not as believable in their roles.  Granted, their speaking roles are limited, but the scenarios with them involved are questionable.  Also implausible is the science and physics of the alien and his ship.  What are the chances the alien they find happens to be so cute and kid friendly as suppose to the ones that Sigourney Weaver faced off against?  And in regards to the ship (Spoiler Alert, highlight to read...), wouldn't the ending have left a giant sinkhole that would destroy the town anyway?  But of course the movie is not about that but about friendship which it does a great job of portraying.

Overall, I would recommend this movie especially for young teens.  The goofiness of the kids is what will attract you and keep you laughing from beginning to end.  The other parts of the story drags at times as they journey from one part of Nevada to another trying to help Echo home.  But of course if you stay until after the credits, the excitement is saved for last as the alien brings back an armada which directly leads into Edge of Tomorrow...

I'm kidding, despite not having what I just mention, it's still worth watching if at least as a matinee.


Tagged: , , , , , , , ,