When I was a kid I loved those movies that focused on characters my own age, where instead of being pawns in a larger game, the filmmakers let the kids be the heroes. And I’m not just talking about ones where they were the protagonists, but the ones where the kids were responsible for solving their problems on their own. There were always movies where the adults swoop in and save the day at the last minute, but that was always kind of insulting. I’m thinking of movies like The Goonies or Monster Squad, where sometimes the kids even got to save the adult’s ass, and they get credit for being intuitive and capable. If this new trailer can be trusted, Relativity Media’s upcoming sci-fi adventure Earth to Echo could fit nicely into this niche.
Perhaps I’m just assuming from the age of the main characters, or the fact that Earth to Echo is rated PG (who does that anymore?), that it is aimed at a younger audience. Perhaps I’m wrong. Watch this trailer that popped up on iTunes Movie Trailers and judge for yourself, but that’s the impression that I get.
Here’s the official synopsis:
After a construction project begins digging in their neighborhood, best friends Tuck, Munch and Alex inexplicably begin to receive strange, encoded messages on their cell phones. Convinced something bigger is going on, they go to their parents and the authorities. When everyone around them refuses to take the messages seriously, the three embark on a secret adventure to crack the code and follow it to its source. But taking matters into their own hands gets the trio in way over their heads when they discover a mysterious being from another world who desperately needs their help. The epic, suspenseful and exciting journey that follows will change all of their lives forever.
The first two comparisons that immediately spring to mind are separated by a few decades. Looking at this trailer, I can’t help but compare Earth to Echo to Explorers, the 1985 adventure that introduced many of us to Ethan Hawke and River Phoenix. A group of young friend turn a Tilt-a-Whirl into a spaceship called Thunder Road and blast off into the depths of space, and it is totally awesome.. The other film that this reminds me of is J.J. Abrams’ 2011 film Super 8, where a group of kids get in over their head with monsters, the military, and puberty.
Is Earth to Echo a found footage joint? From the look of this trailer that is a distinct possibility, and while not a hard deal breaker, it’s an unfortunate choice, one that does not bode well. We’ll see on April 25, 2014, when Earth to Echo hits theaters.