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Science fiction is one of the few genres that lends itself extremely well to films centered on young characters. Horrors, romances, action flicks, and Nazi war dramas just can’t get into the imaginative world of youth in quite the same way. This is evidenced quite well by the above first theatrical trailer for the directorial debut from filmmaker Dave Green, the otherworldly adventure Earth to Echo. I cannot wait to watch this movie, regardless of if I’m the only child-free adult in the theater. Does this giant trenchcoat and pencil-thin mustache make me look creepy?
Earth to Echo looks like an ample mixture of J.J. Abrams’ Super 8 and Josh Trank’s Chronicle, pitting friends against the unknown through the lenses of different cameras. Found footage haters will undoubtedly talk a lot of shit about why Green didn’t just make the film traditionally, but I think it’ll be pretty interesting to see the action in this film through a “child’s eyes.” Especially the more discovery-oriented portions before the adults come in and make everyone’s lives a living hell.
The film follows best friends Alex (Teo Halm), Tuck (Astro), and Munch (Reese Hartwig), who all receive strange maps and messages on their cell phones that lead to a remote spot in the desert where a strange being has landed. (Do you guys remember that timeless scene in E.T. where Elliot shows E.T. the Reese’s website on his smartphone?) Using more cameras than I’ve ever owned in my life, the socially awkward boys suit up and take a bike ride to what will be the most significant event in their lives: finding a little alien baby whose communication skills aren’t just limited to “Kill all humans!” Dubbed Echo, the alien soon becomes the subject of a wide-scale manhunt, which the boys are quite happy to avoid as long as possible, lest they lose their new friend.
Joined by Emma (Ella Wahlestedt), the boys go on the run, trying both to protect Echo and to find a way to get him back to his home planet. A group of shadowy government (or worse) agents are after them, as one would expect them to be. Fortunately, Echo isn’t just a cute, big-eyed infant, but a pretty powerful being, able to take things like vehicles and telepathically take them apart and put them back together in other places. I wonder if he’ll help me the next time I need to move.
All in all, the trailer looks about as interesting as it could be, and has me all ready to strap my phone to my head and document my trip to theaters to see Earth to Echo on July 2. But I swear I’ll stop recording once I get inside…