Dave Green’s Earth to Echo is wholesome family fun; a childhood adventure story that rekindles the spirit of 80s favourites like E.T., Flight of the Navigator & The Explorers…
A throwback at 80s children’s adventure films, Earth to Echo is family entertainment at its best; clean, crisp, and served with the right amount of personality and story that would appeal to all ages.
Three kids, friends who grew up on the same street, head out for an adventure on the last day together before their families are displaced due to a highway being made through their homes and find something that is truly out of this world.
Earth to Echo takes the spirit of journey at heart and weaves a beautiful yarn with strings that interconnect elements like growing up, first love, and most importantly friendship that in turn form the basis of life. There are lessons to be learnt as we see our three protagonists go through the night facing danger in light of discovery, most important of which is to help those in need, no matter their origin.
Director Dave Green makes the film all the more interesting by mixing genres that range from science fiction to adventure and from coming-of-age to a hand held found footage film. In addition, the primary cast, that comprises of Teo Halm, Astro, Reese Hartwig, and Ella Linnea, is perfect, each bringing their own unique style and freshness to the roles. Furthermore, because the characters are only borderline etched out in a clichéd fashion, they all come across as different with a hint of familiarity that too is essential for a family film.
Unfortunately, while Earth to Echo entertains and makes for an excellent relaxed Sunday afternoon watch, it lacks that certain something which would make it epic. The characters, including Echo, the cute little alien the kids are helping, are extremely likeable, just not memorable enough. The four kids, who do a commendable job, simply don’t stand out; be it the story arc or the characterisation. And, even though the film has excellent special effects, we see very little of Echo and it is a missed opportunity as with the kind of powers Echo has, we only get to see a glimpse of it in action. The same can also be said for the villains who are just a distraction for the kids, never posing any real danger so to speak, and while similar films might have over-the-top bad guys, here, only about an hour after watching the film, I am having trouble believing they were essential to the plotline.
Films like Earth to Echo are a dying breed at a time when more and more kids are being engulfed into a world of superheroes, not saying it is a bad thing, but sometimes it is nice to have a film come across that has good production value and a story that everyone in the family can sit together and enjoy wholeheartedly.