Ever generation of kids deserves that movie that defines their childhood. Growing up in the eighties I had many to choose from, movies like “E.T.” and “The Goonies”, you know the kind of movie you can’t wait to show your kids when you have them. I think “Super 8” wanted to be that movie, J.J. Abrams did his best to channel his inner Spielberg, and it came closest to maybe being this generation’s movie. The next movie vying for that title and like “Super 8” it involves a group of friends, a camera, and something out of this world in “Earth to Echo”.
Tuck (Brian Bradley) is one of those kids who loves to film everything. His neighborhood is being uprooted all in the name of progress, so that a new highway can be built. Tuck’s best friends Alex (Teo Halm) and Munch (Reese Hartwig) are also having to move. One day their phones go crazy, and displays on the screen what looks like a map. Tuck comes up with the plan to follow it, and on their last night together, take a trip to discover something that appears to be calling them. They are taken to the middle of the desert where they discover a strange device that wants them to go on a scavenger hunt. The device they find is a creature from another planet, which only wants to go home. The kids name the creature Echo, who can only answer yes or no questions with a beep. They soon discover they are not the only ones looking for Echo, as they race to get him back home.
Taking the path of a home movie, “Earth to Echo” has the blueprints to be something special. Writer Henry Gayden and Andre Panay make the film fun and enjoyable, but doesn’t quite reach the level it is reaching for. The trick is not to look at this movie through adult eyes, but instead try and look at it as though you’re a ten year old. As adults we want to point out things like how long the night the film takes place is, or how Echo has no personality. And while these things might be true, does it matter to the intended audience? Probably not. Director Dave Green does what he is supposed to do and not get in the way of the story. Borrowing ideas from so many movies, it almost comes off as a great mix. I have nothing bad to say about this film and many times during the film, I wanted to be the ten year old me, so that I could feel what the kids in the audience felt, and although I didn’t watch it all wide eyed, I did enjoy it. This movie hits perfectly for kids of a certain age, and most kids below fourteen will go love everything about “Earth to Echo”. Take your kids to see this film, and let them discover the magic that lies within movies like this, that way in six months you can finally find a movie that will get “Frozen” out of your DVD player.