REVIEW — “Earth to Echo”
Yes, it’s yet another found footage film. But this one is unique in enough ways to make it an enjoyable family film.
Even with a few notable exceptions (‘Chronicle”, “Afflicted”) the found footage genre has been run into the ground and has become as dated as Neo’s bullet dodge. However, during the past two decades of Found Footage, one type has eluded us. The Family Friendly Found Footage Flick (Hereby referred to as F5) Perhaps it is because technology has finally advanced enough that it seems normal for a group of kids to carry around video cameras and cell phones with them. Regardless, there’s an entire generation that has not yet been exposed to this type of cinema.
The plot sidesteps the traditional antagonists, Ghosts, demons, vampires, and goes for the more PG-rated cute alien. What we end up with is a cute combination of “The Explorers”,”ET”, and “The Blair Witch Project.” Awkward as it sounds it actually works, for those within a certain age range. The plot revolves around three 13 year old best friends who are being driven apart by a new highway scheduled to be built where their neighborhood currently stands. They are good kids, but we sense they are all outcasts in their own ways. Each has a different “issue” that young kids in the audience may relate to. Besides facing relocation to a new area, one comes from a broken home, another is a foster child, and the third feels ignored by his parents. They are frightened and frustrated that they are powerless to have any impact on the world, much less their own lives. In a roundabout way, the plot addresses their fears as they help the alien they discover.
While adults may roll their eyes at certain elements, young kids will most likely be drawn into this adventure. What kid doesn’t want to bend the rules they’ve followed for so long, go off on an epic quest and rescue an extra terrestrial? If you’re looking for a nice family film that’s more entertaining than “Transformers 4” give this “F5” a chance.
3.5 out of 5 Stars