When watching the Earth to Echo trailer, if you are reminded of a certain Steven Spielberg movie from decades ago -- E.T. -- than you’re not far off base. That was clearly the nod that director Dave Green was going for and that is not a bad thing. After witnessing the film that arrives from writers Henry Gayden and Andrew Panay, there is much more to Earth to Echo than a simple tribute.
First off, this is not a found footage movie. Nobody found any lost film and put together the story of a group of boys who find an alien lost far from home who is trying to avoid capture by the U.S. government.
But, what Earth to Echo is is a point-of-view story where our main characters carry cameras -- whether handheld or on their phones. And that is one way that this story feels truly modern because, like it or not, most kids their age would be doing the same thing.
After all, they are documenting their last days together as friends.
Teo Halm, Astro and Reese Hartwig star as the trio of best buds whose families are being forced to move from their Arizona homes because of the state putting a highway right through their front lawns. They are going their separate ways and only have a few more days together. When their phones start getting weird messages and acting bizarre, they figure out that they’re receiving coordinates, and head out to discover what it is.
And what it is, is Echo. The cute little alien is trying to get home, but some dark forces (government agents) are trying to stop him. There’s much, much more to this story, but let’s not enter spoiler territory here.
The young cast is fantastic. They truly inhabit these roles and whether being shot by one of their own video cameras or Green’s camera, they are clearly comfortable carrying this story that the audience can never predict how or where it is going to go.
The thing about Earth to Echo that is also true about E.T. and other movies of that era is its tone.
There is something in the film that is for everybody. It’s not just for little kids, young teens or even adults. The themes and dramatic story movement will resonate with those who are eight to eighty.
Our Earth to Echo review has to say we’re quite surprised at the quality of this little gem. In a summer movie season that appears to be more and more devoid of family fare, Earth to Echo is out of this world.