Three best friend, Alex (Teo Halm)a four year resident in their small Nevada community, Tuck (Astro) the boy behind the making of their film, you would remember this young man from the television show X Factor and Munch (Reese Hartwig) the chubby young man with an ingenious mind have suddenly been getting encrypted messages on their cell phones. At school these three are pretty much invisible to the rest of the kids that is unless they decide to bully them even Mannequin girl Emma (Ella Wahlestedt) especially wants nothing to do with any of them. Apparently though, something wants to communicate with them as they have been given some type of map on their phones leading them on a journey at night into the desert.
As the boys make an excuse at home for their departure into the darkness they ride their bikes with camera in tow on their quest for answers. When they arrive at their destination what they find is not exactly what they expected yet later in the evening what they did not expect turns out to be a small cute metal covered alien in search of their help. Echo as they named him has been stranded in the desert when his ship crashed and in order for him to get home he needs the boys to take him to his ship but first along the way collect a series of objects needed for him to get back to his world. One major problem, some men posing as construction workers are out to find Echo no matter what it takes. The town has been told they need to move since a freeway is going in but when it comes to government not all is what it appears to be.
Alex, Tuck and Munch while trying to help Echo encounter run in’s with the strange guys but thanks to a new member of their group, Emma, matters that became less complicated once again take a turn and not necessarily for the best. Echo becomes captive to the strange men as does one of the boys and now the other three are out to save Munch and get Echo back to his planet rather than becoming a science experiment for the government. In the end, the boys learn they truly can do anything if they band together and stay strong and no matter the distance involved best friends will always last forever.
I must say I enjoyed some moments in the film but the beginning although directed well is not quite as engaging as the last thirty minutes. I love movies with kids in it like “The Goonies” or “Super 8” but this one if not for Munch (Hartwig) may have been much more disconnecting. Astro at times seemed a bit over-bearing, like he was on X Factor, and Halm seemed a bit lost yet Wahlestedt could use a bit more acting 101. There is nice direction in the film which happens to remind me a bit of “Battery’s Not Included” but at times I thought there were some holes in the story line. The writing is fitting for the premise of the film but at times it seems to lose touch with reality even though they use the camera as if being in a reality type third person moment. The camera jumps so many times because of the way its filmed that at some moments I had to look away to gain my equilibrium back. I did like some of the special effect towards the end of the film but it seemed they were just a bit thrown in for the sake of the box office. Overall I did not hate this movie but I just found it to be a bit amateurish with true potential that missed its mark along the way. Yes Echo is cute but even he could have been utilized a bit more in this story and graced with more character development himself. Written and enjoyed for the kid factor with two paws out of four by Jon Patch.