A rather sweet film that comes across as Chronicle for the tween set with a dash of Batteries Not Included. It doesn’t quite have the smooth believability of similar “last day together” stories, like Stand By Me or even The Kings of Summer, but it has fun, and even moments of catalyst.
The young cast is competent and, to a degree, known. The most recognizable is Astro (Red Band Society), who continues to build his career nicely, if monotonously. It isn’t that he can’t act, but he’s been somewhat typecast. Newcomer Halm actually has the best and most complex role in the piece, and I expect to see him more often in the future. But suggesting there are any great performances to be had is an overstatement. They are competent and working with weak material; good enough for the intended audience, but a bit cringe-worthy for adults.
To be fair, as a first feature for Green and Gayden, it is impressively put together. It isn’t brilliant, but it will certainly entertain younger viewers who are just gaining their mental independence. This film plays nicely into that sense of life. And the effects are relatively well done, imparting real personality to the biomechanoid, Echo. Sure it is manipulative, but sometimes that what you go to a movie for.
Feel free to turn it on for your tweens, but you can do better for yourself, even for the 90 minutes it would absorb.