Earth to Echo follows three early-teen, best friend boys in their last day together. Everyone in a several block area has been ordered to move to make way for a new freeway. But the real reason -- it turns out -- is much more sinister.
The boys -- and no one else it seems -- suspect a conspiracy when their mobile devices start displaying a mysterious map. It leads them to Echo, a cute little alien whose body parts are hidden in a variety of odd places like convenience stores and bars.
Coming along with the kids is a female classmate. These movies aren't complete without introducing a budding romance.
The film is shot completely with hand-held cameras and uses the nonstop patter that comes with the technique. It's often irritating, and much of the dialogue and the events the kids encounter feels like it is filler to stretch the movie to major-release length.
This is the first major release for writer Henry Gayden and director Dave Green. No type of movie can be more endearing than one that rescues a cute, cuddly alien or an animal. And the alien in Echo to Earth is as cute as they get. Gayden and Green fail to connect you to Echo. He's more prop than personality.
The kids -- Ted Helm, Brian "Astro" Bradley, Reese Hartwig and Ella Wahlestedt -- are pretty good. And, like Echo, they are completely wasted in a movie that probably should have gone straight to DVD.
Earth to the people responsible for this mess: Not even the kids you're aiming this at are going to buy this one.
Earth to Echo
Director: Dave Green
Stars: Ted Helm, Brian "Astro" Bradley, Reese Hartwig, Ella Wahlestedt
Mr. Movie rating: 1 star
Rated PG for mature themes. It's playing at Regal's Columbia Center 8, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen.
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.