Earth To Echo

***1/2

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

"Teenage confusion gives the film an unexpected conviction, coupled with its punk styled cinematography"

Using a roughly handled camcorder and social media outlets the look of Earth To Echo is meant to be a mess, disguising its 21st century reworking of the E.T story.

Three high school buds take off on their bikes into the desert in the middle of the night as a final farewell to California. Their homes are about to be demolished to make way for a new motorway.

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They discover a tubular object half buried in the sand. It could be a bomb. They are nervous, but intrigued. Turns out that it affects electricity in a weird way before revealing its tiny passenger, a silver baby alien with cartoon eyes.

The authorities know about the crashed mother ship and are behaving exactly as you would expect, with the imagination of a bison, heavy brained and heavy handed. The kids believe the silver cuteness wants to go home and are determined to help. But how?

There are similarities to Super 8 which is no bad thing. Teenage confusion gives the film an unexpected conviction, coupled with its punk styled cinematography.

What matters is whether you comprehend, or have empathy for the characters. They may be fathoms deep in danger and ignorant of what they are dealing with, but display a solidarity of purpose that overcomes any temptation to sink the screenplay in a vat of treacle.

Reviewed on: 18 Jul 2014
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Earth To Echo packshot
Three high school friends find a lost silver baby from another galaxy in the desert and try to help it before the authorities find out
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Director: Dave Green

Writer: Henry Gayden

Starring: Teo Halm, Astro, Reese Hartwig, Ella Wahlestedt

Year: 2014

Runtime: 89 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: US

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If you like this, try:

E.T. - The Extra Terrestrial
Super 8