By Tony Pinto
“Earth to Echo” is a like “E.T.” meets “Goonies” meets “The Blair Witch Project.” It takes certain parts of each movie and combines them to make this film.
It’s about three friends who live in a Nevada subdivision that is about to be torn down so the state can build a nice new freeway. You get the awkwardly smart kid who probably has OCD played by Reece C. Harting, the emo kid played by Teo Halm, and the kid who wants to be popular who you’ll hear about later. The three friends all have their own personalities that don’t really match, but somehow they’re best friends.
The premise is they want to have one more good night together before they all move their separate ways. They choose to follow this mysterious map that just kind of appears on their electronic devices.
Somehow that leads them to an alien and then they decide to help it get home. You could be told more but that would just ruin the childlike wonder the film tries to bring or you could just watch “E.T.” and that will pretty much ruin this movie, too.
The way it’s shot is reminiscent of “The Blair Witch Project.” The one character Tuck, played by Brian “Astro” Bradley, is the filmmaker and ringleader of the bunch who films everything. For the most part, one of the characters is supposedly filming at all times. There are spots whether by design or accident when they are all on screen together and you wonder who’s filming.
The film being shot that way is a big aspect of the movie. It might turn some people off and it leads to some spots where you don’t really see what’s going on.
We’re supposed to believe that a year after this happened they all got together, took the footage they shot of their final night and edited it to make this movie.
It’s a family friendly movie that’s meant to appeal to kids, and it does that. It’s under 90 minutes which is a big selling point for the movie because if it was any longer it would just be unnecessary time.
All you really need to know is that it’s an uninspiring film. It’s poorly shot. It has so much wrong with it but it can get away with most of it because it’s a kids’ movie.
You need to take the movie at what it is. It wants to be the next “E.T.” but it’s not. If you compare it to “E.T.” you will be disappointed, but if you look at it by itself you’ll see a decent kid’s movie.
The whole movie is an homage to “E.T.” - with the evil government that can’t be trusted, the constant use of phones and the girl Emma, played by Ella Wahlestedt, who joins the friends halfway through their adventure.
As long as kids like it, first-time feature filmmaker Dave Green might have a hit on his hands. With a budget much lower than other recent releases, the sky’s the limit on “Earth to Echo.”
Tony Pinto’s grade: B for kids and D for adults