EARTH TO ECHO Trailer – Precocious Kids Discover An Alien
Earth to Echo is the story of a group of precocious kids who discover and befriend an alien life form and decide to protect it from some pushy, government agency adults. They soon discover people on Earth can be a lot more frightening than any alien.
Sound familiar? It probably should, since movies like ET, Super 8, Transformers and The Iron Giant follow a similar theme and pretty much make this type of film deserve its own adventure sub-genre. But with its PG rating, Earth to Echo is likely targeted at those who aren’t old enough to experience the more recent PG-13 incarnations of this familiar kids and aliens vs. the world style story.
In fact, Earth to Echo seems to border on pandering at times with its appeals to young millennials. For instance, the group of kids find their new alien pal not by playing in the woods or investigating a train crash, but by receiving a strange text message. Whether or not this new, explicitly 21st century twist to the old formula will resonate with tweens remains to be seen, but it certainly comes across as a purposeful decision to make the main characters relatable to those who’ve been handling iPods since birth.
Having a group of children follow the directions that take them out of their suburb to a spot twenty miles into the desert all based on a mysterious text message seems like the premise to a child predator PSA, but thankfully the text only leads them to Echo. Echo is a Wall-E like robot/alien who communicates in electronic beeps the kids somehow understand. The few glimpses we get of his otherworldly powers ranges from barely intelligible echoing of speech — Get it? Echo echoes. Yeah, it’s just as lame when they explain his name in the trailer — to wow, this is an alien after all and he can do amazing things like disassembling and reassembling an oncoming tractor trailer.
Child actors are notoriously hit or miss, but this cast seems to be serviceable. The crew of rebellious kids is led by fourteen year old rapper Astro, whom you may or may not remember from The X-Factor. Apparently, Astro is planning a reverse Ice Cube and is starting his hip hop career making PG rated movies, so expect his gangsta rap album in about fifteen years. He is joined by Teo Halm as his friend, Ella Wahlstedt as Emma, the girl someone probably has a crush on and Reese Hartwig, Munch, the comic relief who proves in the trailer that you can say “balls” in a PG film.
Perhaps inspired by Super 8, the kids seem to have a compulsion to film everything, and shaky cam shots abound in the trailer. It’s unclear if Earth to Echo is supposed to be found footage (I sure hope not) or if the kids’ movies will just be included in the story, but it does seem like another attempt to connect with kids who are used to posting a video of anything interesting they see on Twitter. Earth to Echo looks like a fun film for those in that target audience and anyone who likes watching these ET type films that seem to come around every few years.