Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Movie Review: Earth to Echo

Previous Review: Hercules
Next Review: The Teacher's Diary

In all honesty, Earth to Echo is not an original film. It has too many similarities with classic films like Steven Spielberg's E.T. the Extra Terrestrial (1982), Richard Donner's The Goonies (1985) and J.J. Abram's Super 8 (2011) to the point it's considered a ripoff. It's basically the same children-alien family sci-fi adventure film, albeit a more robotic alien that's similar to Wall-E than E.T.

The story is pretty much the same, it's simple, straightforward and predictable: There are three kids (later on there's another girl) that only have a few days left before moving out of their neighbourhood. So, they thinking of starting an adventure together. During the journey, they discover a robotic alien, decide to help it to go back home and keeping it from the authorities. The main difference this time is the way they shoot the film. Many people would say that the film employs the 'found footage' technique, but I find it to be slightly inaccurate. To put it accurately, the film is an edited video recording of the kids adventure from different cameras own by one of the kids.

First and foremost, the kids they hired to act in the film did a great job in portraying their friendship on-screen. The interaction between the kids felt genuine enough for us to believe that they really share a special bond with each other. However, Echo, the central alien character, is very poorly developed (it looks very cute though). There's not much screen time for the alien for the audience to feel any emotional attachment to it. The movie tends to focus more on the kids and their night adventure rather than developing the unusual 'alien-human friendship' between Echo and the kids, which is supposedly the main theme of the film. It also briefly touched on child neglect and abandonment issues along the way, but without further development as well.

Personally, I find it difficult to have any emotions at all when the kids (especially Alex) gets very emotional when they bid farewell to Echo during the last scene. There's also some questionable plot logic issues in the film which hurts the film: How the kids manage to travel long distances with bicycles in just a few hours without feeling exhausted? (it's a several kilometres of open highway and they're just kids!) Why there's no cars on the highway at all? If there is, why no one hesitated to stop and ask why they're cycling on the highway in the middle of the night? Why these kids manage to easily walk or break into shops? Furthermore, the 'construction workers' (they're actually investigators or secret government officials) are not believable...the way they treat the kids isn't realistic at all.

Although I would say that the adventure is fun, enjoyable and entertaining for young kids, I would recommend this film only for those who never watched E.T. the Extra Terrestrial (1982), The Goonies (1985) or Super 8 (2011). It's not a terrible film by any means, it's just that it's been done before...and it just doesn't offer anything new or provide any further improvements to the genre.


4.5/10 - The film lacks originality, it uses a plot concept that's done well in past films and offers no improvements at all.

7/10 - If you haven't watch E.T. the Extra Terrestrial (1982), The Goonies (1985) or Super 8 (2011).

Previous Review: Hercules
Next Review: The Teacher's Diary

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