Film Review: Earth to Echo 

An adventure for both kids and adults.

Earth to Echo might be a Disney movie, but it's a cool little adventure showing influences from 1980s sci-fi to more recent fare like J.J. Abram's Super 8.

The movie revolves around best friends Tuck, Munch, and Alex. Tuck, the protagonist played by Brian 'Astro' Bradley, is increasingly dismayed at their neighborhood being torn apart after a construction company comes in to build a highway, so he decides to start filming their lives. We see their world through the handheld eyes of Tuck's many recording devices.

The boys, outcasts at their school, find solace in each other. Alex, played by Teo Halm, is an adopted child of two loving parents who are expecting a baby of their own; he's brooding just enough to be short of a cliché, but trust issues still come through. Munch (Reese Hartwig) brings the apprehension to the group and the squeaky-clean attitude that prevents him from ever lying.

Two days before everyone in the neighborhood is to evacuate, hopelessness sets in.

"We're just kids. What can we do?" ponders Tuck.

Soon enough, something weird happens. Their smartphones start what they call "barfing" — weird designs pop up on the screens, making the phones unusable. The boys become convinced that there's a bigger picture, and everything, including the construction company, is connected.

With some encouragement from Tuck, who's clinging to anything to make the most of their dwindling time together, they set out to find the source of the dysfunction. Along the way, they pick up Emma (Ella Wahlestedt), a popular girl at school who is tired of the cookie-cutter life she's lived so far. What they find is truly out of this world: an alien that's stranded, and it's up to them to help the little guy.

The CGI is on-point, adding to the film but not totally overtaking it. The alien is reminiscent of Pixar's Wall-E, rounded and communicating nonverbally and with beeps.

Earth to Echo, aimed at tweens, has a message of empowerment. Here, the kids, armed with cameras and a sense of adventure, figure out what's going on in their community. It works. The jokes land just right even for the adults in the audience, though some might have a hard time keeping up with the handheld cameras, which sometimes were just fast-moving enough to feel lost.

Earth to Echo is a good film for those parents with older children, particularly ones that might feel helpless with issues in their community. They can see how, despite their age, they can make a difference too.

Earth to Echo

Now Playing

Multiple Locations

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.


Favorite

Speaking of...

Earth to Echo
Rated PG · 89 min. · 2014
Official Site: CallHimEcho.com
Director: Dave Green
Writer: Henry Gayden and Andrew Panay
Producer: Andrew Panay and Ryan Kavanaugh
Cast: Teo Halm, Brian "Astro" Bradley, Reese Hartwig, Ella Linnea Wahlestedt, Jason Gray-Stanford and Cassius Willis

Trailer


Now Playing

Earth to Echo is not showing in any theaters in the area.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
    • A Star Is Born

      Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper dazzle in a rare remake that feels necessary.
    • First Man

      Ryan Gosling plays Neil Armstrong in this flawed biopic
    • The Sore Losers

      Mike McCarthy’s dangerous vision of garage rock decadence, returns for a Gonerfest encore

Blogs

Tiger Blue

Missouri 65, Tigers 33

Beyond the Arc

Grizzlies Maul Hawks 131 - 117

News Blog

City Orders Lime Scooters Off the Streets

We Saw You

Science of Wine and more!

News Blog

Election Administrator Addresses Ballot Issues

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Shocktober V Gets Scary At The Time Warp Drive-In

Fly On The Wall Blog

Great Works of Literature as Written by the Shelby Co. Election Commission

News Blog

'Misleading' Ballot Questions Draw Ire from Voters

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Alexandra Pusateri

Readers also liked…

  • Death Grip

    Memphis filmmaker Sam Bahre talks about his 11-year struggle to create I Filmed Your Death.
    • Apr 19, 2018
  • Kong: Skull Island

    Five lessons from the ape-pocalyse
    • Mar 16, 2017
  • The Post

    Spielberg’s journalism epic is the film our troubled country needs
    • Jan 19, 2018
ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2018

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation