Earth to Echo is a story of 3 boys (and later a girl) who help a cute alien to find his way back home after he was shot down in the desert near their home in Nevada. It is a story about growing up; friendship and adventure.
That all sounds a bit twee, but actually I thought it worked, and for its target audience of 8-10 year olds, it’s pretty cool.
I liked how the kids’ characters all developed through the story, but that they stayed true to themselves. They each had their own issues – the scared geek; the foster kid with a phobia of being left behind; the overlooked one who makes movies to get the attention he craves; and the popular girl who is fed up with being the princess. They learned to overcome and to work together as a team to help someone who really needed them (the alien who they named Echo.)
The camera angles of ‘found footage’ may annoy some, but I thought it worked, and it fitted in with the plot (everything is recorded on Tuck’s (the amateur film-maker) three cameras.
Echo is cute and you sympathise with him and his new human friends. The bad guys “construction workers” may be a little two dimensional, but they do the job. There are a couple of cool CGI scenes, but it’s not overdone.
I enjoyed the film and thought that the kids acted well. My 8 year old son thought it was great too. It’s no ET, but it is an enjoyable family film that will appeal to 8-11 year olds, and there was nothing too scary or violent.