I was not sure what to expect from this film. Turned out to be caring and sensitive wanting to transmit a message that we can have friends for life, willing to be with us for always, no matter what, but its soft and cute side was just not enough.In “Earth to Echo” the best friends Tuck, Alex, and Munch and their families will be forced to leave the neighborhood where they live, because all the houses will be demolished to initiate the construction of a highway. Tuck loves to make his own videos, filming the events of day-to-day life. A few days before the move, all mobile phones in the area start to get weird with very strange images on the screen. Quickly the boys discover that these images are actually maps and on their last night together in the neighborhood they decide to leave on a great adventure. Meanwhile everything is constantly being recorded by Tuck’s cameras.
The technique used to shoot was found footage and I am not exactly the biggest fan of the style. It’s something that sometimes becomes annoying because the camera never stops, giving it the sense of a shaky movement. Since this film is more directed towards kids I don’t know if it succeeds in that aspect. However, the special effects were very well done.
The performances of the young actors are a bit inconsistent. Sometimes I could actually believe their intentions, others not so much. All had their ups and downs. The introduction of a fourth character, a girl who attends the same school as the three friends, seemed a little forced and unnecessary. I preferred if history had only maintained the three central characters.
The biggest problem of “Echo to Earth” is that it turns out to be a mix between Steven Spierberg’s “E.T.” and J. J. Abraams “Super 8,” which absolutely takes away all the originality. With all the adventurous part of the film it follows exactly the same path and plot of “Super 8.” When it comes to the emotional part of the story, is like “E.T.,” where an extraterrestrial becomes a friend of a group of kids, but especially connects himself with one.
Echo is a character poorly developed. We only know that he is from space, but we don’t know from where exactly. We are not sure why he is stuck on Earth and when he arrived and when we get to the end of the story there’s an emptiness unexplained. I would love to have seen Echo with more time on screen.
I can see many teenagers having a good time watching this film, but I would not recommend it for children under twelve. I say this because the poster might lead many parents to deception.
by – Caty Alexandre