Monday, June 30, 2014

MINI-REVIEW: Earth to Echo

Earth to Echo

Teo Halm, Brian "Astro" Bradley


July 2, 2014

Dave Green

Relativity Media

1 hour 31 minutes



On the outside, "Earth to Echo" looks like just some modern knockoff of "E.T." and "Super 8" combined, which in a way it actually is.  What the trailers don't show you is that the movie also kind of knocks off "The Goonies" and "The Sandlot" in some ways.  As someone who wasn't particularly looking forward to this movie, though, I have to say that it was a lot more enjoyable than the trailers make it out to be.  Now to be fair, the movie isn't perfect by any means.  Like seriously, did the movie really need to be shown using the "found-footage" method that's been done so many times already?  Despite the flaws present in the movie, though, "Earth to Echo" is an enjoyable family movie that kids will definitely enjoy, as well as some parents depending on your taste in film.

While the kid actors are really good in here and the story is fun and engaging, I felt what drove this film down was the script and the whole "found-footage" angle this movie uses.  There is really no reason to have this film shown in the found footage angle, as it doesn't enhance the movie whatsoever.  As for the script of the film, it's hard to believe that this entire movie, apart from the opening, takes place over the course of one night.  I didn't really buy the kids having this strong and incredible connection with Echo after only one evening of running and hiding.  Had this taken place over the course of a week, or even a month, I feel that the story would have been more impactful and the relationship these kids have with the alien would have been more believable.  I understand why the film took place in one night, but this overall journey and the impact this had on the kids was not believable to me.

Even though there were things that annoyed me about the film, I still found "Earth to Echo" to be very enjoyable.  The kid actors were solid, the story was fine, and the design of Echo is so adorable that it's hard to look away.  Even though the film taking place over the course of one night doesn't work due to the fact that these kids end up getting so attached to the alien they literally just met, and the found footage angle used isn't necessary in the slightest, I still had fun with this movie.  It's definitely not as bad as it could have been, and it will definitely please kids looking for something out there if something like "Maleficent" is sold out.  I even feel like the innocent and whimsical value this movie has will allow parents to enjoy it almost as much as their children.  It's not as good as the more recent sci-fi homage flick "Super 8," but that didn't stop me from having a good time.  If this is the result of a homage to classic 80s and 90s sci-fi family flicks, then I am perfectly ok with that.

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