Writer: Henry Gayden (Screenplay) Henry Gayden, Andrew Panay (Story)
Starring: Teo Halm, Astro, Reese Hartwig, Ella Wahlestedt, Jason Gray-Stanford, Algee Smith
Plot: After receiving a bizarre series of encrypted messages, a group of kids embark on an adventure with an alien who needs their help.
Tagline – No one will ever believe our story.
Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Fun Coming of Age Movie
Story: Earth to Echo starts as the three friends Tuck (Astro), Alex (Halm) and Munch (Hartwig) are spending their final week together before they are being forced to move for construction of a freeway. They go on one final adventure which takes them into the desert at night following a map which leads them to meet an alien.
The alien is lost and the three must work together to help the lost alien build a ship, so he can return home, this is one adventure the kids will never forget.
Thoughts on Earth to Echo
Characters – Tuck is the YouTube sensation that makes videos with his best friends, he is the reason why they have the camera in the first place and is looking for the final adventure before their move. Alex is one of the group, he is the one that will always go along for the ride without any pressure put on him. Munch is the one of the group that is always the nervous one that needs talking into going on any adventure. Emma is the one from outside the group that joins the adventure half way through bringing new ideas to stay ahead of the people chasing them. Dr Madsen portrays himself as a construction worker trying to keep a secret away from the world.
Performances – The child actors do all give a good performance, the three boys do act like they would be real friends and Ella does help make them feel lightly awkward. Jason Gray-Stanford is harder to watch after seeing him in Monk for years.
Story – The story here follows four friends as they spend their last night together before being forced to move in different directions following a map which sends them on an adventure to help a standard alien return home. This has the same feeling you would say ET had, the unity between friends, an adventure they could never imagine and facing the reality things in life will be changing for these kids which is out of their control. This is a good coming of age story with the elements of sci-fi throughout.
Adventure/Family/Sci-Fi – The adventure the friends go on, is a once in the lifetime one and has even more meaning because it was their last night together. This is one the family could enjoy with the sci-fi element of the film shows how the idea of aliens could leave us anywhere.
Settings – The film is set over one night in one neighbourhood that can be travelled by bike, this keeps us understand the distant the characters will be going.
Special Effects – The effects here are very good, which should be praised, but the problem is that this is shot like a found footage, meaning the effects should be looking this good.
Final Thoughts – This is a good entertaining coming of age movie that feels like it wants to be ET only to never reaches that level.
Overall: Coming of Age 101