Alex is determined to return Echo to his ship.
Preteen best buds—Tuck (Brian Bradley), Alex (Teo Halm) and Munch (Reese Hartwig)—reluctantly prepare to move before their neighborhood is uprooted in favor of a new freeway. The boys mourn the last of their daily hangouts, until wacky images on their smartphone screens hint at something hiding in the government “freeway” plans. The threesome is energized to discover the truth, and Earth to Echo thus establishes as a sci-fi adventure through the muggy Nevada desert.
Alex, Tuck, and Munch mobilize to find Echo.
With help from tech-savvy Munch, the boys connect the screen’s image to an isolated area in the desert. And boys will be boys—the threesome soon ventures to the desert where they find the root of the screen’s pattern, and the reason for the “freeway” development: a tiny robotic alien dubbed Echo. Echo’s body lost some vital pieces and he’s stuck on Earth, fixing the boys a mission. From then, it’s a journey to get Echo home. Echo’s beeping and bopping generates a thrill for the boys, and everyone watching, as the boys are brought through a maze of different people and situations to complete their self-given task.
The complete robot Echo.
Despite the sci-fi focus, this film is truly about young boys facing life’s crossroads. Tuck, Alex, and Munch are your average group of misfits, but the plot actually creates a celebratory ode to the nerds. The film bodes heavily on the importance of solid friendship to overcome hardships and growing pains, especially when the world starts to not make sense. By sticking together and verbalizing their emotions, we watch the boys move from dismayed to enchanted.
An exhausted Alex lies on the floor after escaping from the authorities chasing him.
Earth to Echo follows the “found footage” trend, where the audience is viewing the amateur handheld filming of Tuck—much like watching a YouTube video or home footage. This is only the beginning of the films highlight of the modern age: online chatting, smartphones, and the internet, all play a role in the plot and detective work. Besides issuing a new take on filming, the “found footage” technique also lends a child’s view to the situations at hand. Starting from the disappointment of their neighborhood’s destruction, the film is a dive into the head of a changing kid. All of this adds to the heartiness, and makes for a solid family movie night.
Alex and Munch search for missing parts at a junk yard.
Alex lacing up his chucks.
Teo Halm wears black low cut chucks throughout the film. There are a good number of full shot scenes showing his chucks, along with many closeups of Alex discovering Echo.
Alex finds Echo.
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