Earth to Echo

"Weak"

Earth to Echo Review


The filmmakers behind this pre-teen adventure admit that they were trying to combine the magic of E.T., Stand by Me and The Goonies, but they've forgotten that none of those complex, deeply involving classics ever talk down to their audience. By contrast, this movie is painful viewing for anyone over about age 12, as it indulges in shamelessly cute imagery, seasick hand-held camerawork and superficial emotional catharsis.

It's set in rural Nevada, where a new freeway is cutting through a suburban community, forcing families to relocate, which is devastating to three 13-year-old pals who grew up together. Tuck (Brian Bradley, better known as the rapper Astro) decides to videotape their last night together, as he teams up with Munch and Alex (Reese Hartwig and Teo Halm) to investigate some mysterious images on their phones, which seem to be leading them out into the desert. There they find a chunk of steel that takes them on a scavenger hunt, adding bits and pieces until it emerges as an adorable owl-shaped alien, which the boys name Echo. Inexplicably joined by hot girl Emma (Ella Wallestedt), who won't give them the time of day in school, they spend the night trying to outwit the freeway construction boss (Jason Gray-Sanford) and help Echo get home.

Most of these kinds of films sink or swim on the talent of their young actors, but it's impossible to tell how good these actors are, since first-time feature director Dave Green directs them to over-stated performances while forcing them to deliver first-time feature writer Henry Gayden's ridiculously trite dialogue. Every moment of "wonder" is so heavily telegraphed and pushed that any sense of discovery is lost. Even their school-nerd personas are contrived and unbelievable, as is Tuck's ability to capture every significant moment with one of his gadgety cameras, even in moments of high panic. The idea of him shooting and editing their last night together, which turns out to be rather enormously momentous, is a clever one, but the added melodramatic touches undermine the plot by trying to force it into a standard adventure formula.

That said, the effects work is solid, even if some of the design work is far too cute. So the film looks slick enough that young viewers who don't care about subtlety or subtext will probably get caught up in the excitement. But it wouldn't have taken much for the film to recapture that classic kids' adventure vibe: a stronger sense of suspense involving genuine peril, proper inner lives for the boys and a more alien-looking alien.

Rich Cline

Click here to watch the trailer for Earth to Echo



Earth to Echo

Facts and Figures

Genre: Sci fi/Fantasy

Run time: 91 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 2nd July 2014

Box Office USA: $38.9M

Box Office Worldwide: $45.3M

Budget: $13M

Distributed by: Relativity Media

Production compaines: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Relativity Media

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 48%
Fresh: 55 Rotten: 60

IMDB: 5.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Dave Green

Starring: as Alex, Astro as Tuck, Resse Hartwig as Munch, as Emma, as Dr. Lawrence Madsen, Cassius Willis as Calvin, Drake Kemper as Mookie, Algee Smith as Marcus Simms, Sonya Leslie as Theresa Simms, as Janice Douglas, Virginia Louise Smith as Betty Barrett, as James Hastings, Valerie Wildman as Christine Hastings, Roger Hewlett as les ouvriers en bâtiment, as Dusty, la dame au bar, Marilyn Giacomazzi as les habitués du bar, as les habitués du bar, Chris Wylde as un agent de sécurité, Brooke Dillman as une serveuse du restaurant, as Blake Douglas, as Charlie, les amis d'école, as Cameron, le gamin qui pousse Tuck, as une amie de la mère de Munch, Arthur Darbinyan as le patron du magasin de dépôt sur gages, Michael Lee Merrins as un chauffeur de camion, Sean Carroll as le podcast (voix), Echo as Echo

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

War Dogs Movie Review

War Dogs Movie Review

Based on a rather astounding true story, this comedy-drama centres on two stoners who landed...

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

Advertisement
The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.