“Earth to Echo” is the kid who has consumed so much pop culture that he no longer has any thoughts of his own. Everything he says and does is someone else’s idea, not necessarily mindless but rather overloaded by information. And yet, it’s strangely likable, in spite of the myriad of shortcomings it possesses. The leads are easy to root for; they’re good kids who are looking to take one last adventure together before they are separated. It’s a movie that acknowledges cynicism, but shows a more hopeful path. It’s hard to get too down on a movie like that, even a mediocre one.
The film is narrated by and documented courtesy of the recording devices of Tuck (Astro. Yes, the actor’s name is Astro.), who originally intends to film his last days with his closest friends Alex (Teo Halm) and Munch (Reese Hartwig). These are their last days because their sleepy Nevada town is mysteriously becoming the home to a superhighway, and the residents are forced to move elsewhere. The boys all pull the age-old tween trick of telling their parents they’re sleeping at each other’s houses so they can stay out all night. They’re doing this because their cell phones are all going bonkers lately, but in different ways. The patterns on their phone match a nearby map, so they follow the images on their phone, and discover an alien life form who’s trying to put the pieces to his equipment back together in order to go home. The boys are only happy to help. The “builders” of the superhighway, however, are less accommodating.