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'Echo' never quite gets up to speed

Earth to Echo

I'll admit when I first saw the trailers on TV, I thought "Earth to Echo" was akin to and possibly an updated remake of the classic film "E.T." It isn't, but the premise is similar: An alien crashes on Earth and young teenagers find it, protect it and enable it to go home.

The main characters are not big celebrities: Teo Halm as Alex, Astro as Tuck, Resse Hartwig as Munch and Ella Wahlestedt as Emma. But that doesn't mean they weren't believable and played fine roles. This definitely wasn't a Steven Spielberg massive production. But I'm not sure pouring more money into it would have made it better.

Throughout most of the movie you're viewing it through the videotaping ability of the main characters, and that was hard to get used to. Think "Blair Witch Project" and all the associated bouncing, off center and tilted video. This movie could very well be a commercial for the new Go Video products. The characters used a hand-held camera, a handlebar mounted camera and a camera built into eyeglasses.

The story begins slowly and fails to pick up speed, although there is an awesome display of graphics where the main characters are driving head-on into an 18-wheeler. No, no one is hurt nor does anyone yell out a profanity. The collision is avoided "Transformers"-style and that was pretty original and amazing. Later, the film uses the same technique to assemble the spaceship-like key the alien, given the name "Echo" by our main characters, uses to start its spaceship.

This movie lacked any sense of suspense, was relatively slow moving and didn't get me involved with the main characters. It portrayed parents as disinterested and uncaring. I'm being charitable by giving "Earth to Echo" one out of four miners.


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