Focus Magazines The local magazines for Abergavenny, Crickhowell, Brecon & Talgarth – Events, News and Advertising


It is the last few days in the neighbourhood for childhood friends Alex, Tuck and Munch. Their families, just like all others in the area have been displaced by the looming construction of a new highway. When the boys’ phones start to display bizarre interference, the gang sense something unusual is happening and investigate. Techy genius Munch figures out that they are receiving an extra-terrestrial signal and the boys decide to get together for one last big adventure.

Astro-6Using their wits to decipher the clues, the boys suddenly find themselves in deep waters as they stumble upon a government conspiracy, a huge investigation into what they soon discover. A small, stranded alien they name Echo, trying to make its way home. With authorities on their tail the group race against time to help Echo return to where he belongs.

Documenting all this is camera – obsessed Tuck, giving us a first person point of view of the film in a documentary style fashion, something, (and I’m in danger of sounding like a dinosaur here) certain to appeal to today’s young audiences, to whom self-documentation and technology are second nature.

Earth-To-Echo-StillThe first thing that will strike older viewers however, is how Earth to Echo is more Goonies meets ET with a modern twist and not so much an original idea. But then again, with the plethora of viewing material available, little is. It may lack the outrageousness and real sense of peril that permeated the children’s adventure films of the 80’s but perhaps the modern generation would view that approach as outdated or naff. The need to upgrade the content is inevitable and despite the lack of originality, the film doesn’t fail to tap into the same emotions that made those earlier films successful. Sure, there is the fantastical element of kids beating the adults to solve a mystery but the focus is barely on the gimmick that is an alien from outer space. The heart of the story is the relationship between the kids, their sense of helplessness in the adult world, the loss of innocence. Echo is not the star of the show but love and friendship are. The little alien is merely a medium that brings the boys closer and strengthens their bonds. Because of him their friendship will endure what is to come.

Refreshingly, the film also steers clear of a completely feel-good ending, maintaining a dose of reality. Their adventure doesn’t save their homes nor changes the course of events. The boys must still part ways and face what comes but will always cherish that last night together. A bittersweet ending, but one that does not underestimate the emotional understanding younger viewers possess.

Patty Papageorgiou-Axford

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