Speculative Fiction Saturday: Earth to Echo

Earth to EchoOkay, I will let you know that I was prepared not to like this movie. Look at the tagline of “An Adventure as Big as the Universe”. I also remember seeing a critic line that said “this generation’s E.T.“, I honestly don’t think that anything can top E.T. and you could easily label The Iron Giant or Lilo and Stitch as the next generation of E.T. I can’t believe that this movie could be that big, so we have a sign of over-hype.

So I heard that this film is about kids. Generally, I don’t like films with kids, because they are targeted for kids, and I am not, a kid (in case you didn’t figure that out). Also, and this is not something that I discovered until the film had started, but Earth to Echo is a found footage movie!

For those that aren’t familiar with the term, it is a film where the main characters are filming the situation. Examples of speculative fiction works include Cloverfield and Chronicle, and they were okay, at best.

So yeah, this film has already got three or four strikes against it, and yet, it is good. What can I say? Now, here’s the issue: I liked this film’s style, but I am not certain if its target audience will relate with it. It begins with three kids who are documenting what happened to them, as if they had something happen to them. I am assuming that children born in the information age do that, but if not, I hope the film accurately got that right.

The film is a visual document of Alex, Tuck, and Munch, three kids on an adventure. They are the typical token kid characters that are a meshing of the smart kid, the fat kid, the black kid, and all kind of side characters from 80’s movies like The Goonies and Explorers.

The kids are having problems with their cellular phones, and they track the disturbance to some place that they have to visit late and night. So begins their adventure, and they discover an alien robot that is part E.T. and part EVE from Wall-E. This leads them on a journey to get the robot and its spare parts back together so the robot can find his ship and go home.

On their way, they meet Jason Gray-Stanford, who I haven’t seen since he played Disher on Monk. He is a government official trying to cover up the whole thing. He didn’t realize that one of the boys had one of those pairs of glasses with a camera on it. He’s not too good at his job.

Anyway, the film then becomes something similar to a film Spielberg would have done back in the eighties, but much better than Super 8. Man, that’s the second time this week that I have mentioned that awful film, and I suppose that now I’ll have to review it, but not next week. Earth to Echo is worth seeing, and it is a pleasant surprise.

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