Earth to Echo Movie Review

ImageEARTH TO ECHO is a movie made solely to entertain and inspire kids. Four pre-teens receive a series of bizarre maps on their phones, leading them to find an adorable alien they nickname Echo, who needs their help getting home. The movie is drastically different than what is in the trailers. I went into the movie expecting a sci-fi, E.T.-styled action thriller and instead found myself with a down-to-earth, simplistic plot about friendship.

EARTH TO ECHO is the first family-oriented “found footage” style. It hits another first by casting actors the same age as their characters instead of a 29-year old playing a teenager. That’s the one thing that makes it feel fresh—these are actual kids in an adventure movie made for kids, unlike the big franchises that strive to appeal to a wide audience. The film has a brilliant cast consisting of four lead actors, all new faces. Teo Halm who plays Alex, a foster kid, especially shines in his moments of vulnerability. His bonding moments with Echo are truly precious.

I wish that the actors were given more room in the script to show the scope of their talent. With an unsatisfying plot and flat characters, the movie falls short in its attempt to be both action and heartwarming. The character arcs could have been expanded in moments that try their friendships. However, the kids don’t mind—they’re distracted from the lack of solid substance by the loud, epic explosions.

While the film has a good message about how kids can do anything they set their minds to, the moral backfires on itself. The four underage characters break into buildings, enter bars, and drive cars without any consequence. Even so, the audience will take to heart the characters’ uplifting friendship. EARTH TO ECHO is fun and lighthearted for kids under the age of 12 (little kids raved after the movie), but for me and other teens—my heart clenches when I think about the movie’s potential to excel. Parents, watch at your own risk if you have motion sickness. Ages 3+

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About Cassandra Hsiao

Cassandra Hsiao is a senior at OCSA (Orange County School of the Arts). Her work has been nationally recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and National Student Poets Program. She has been chosen as finalists of playwriting competitions held by California Young Playwrights, The Blank Theatre, Writopia Labs, and Princeton University. Her poetry, essays and reviews have appeared in TeenReads, Jet Fuel Review, Feminine Inquiry, Aerie International and more. She also conducts print and on-camera interviews as a Star Reporter and Film Critic for multiple online outlets. She won a National Gracie Award in Student Online Video Host Category by The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation .

Posted on June 15, 2014, in Movie Reviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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