Echo Boomers (2020)

Based on a true story, writer-director Seth Savoy unleashes an engaging story that is only driven by the performances of its cast.

Having graduated from college, Lance Zutterland has found himself in a major bind. No one will give him a chance at a real job. However, opportunity has risen when Lance’s cousin Jack invites him to Chicago for a job. At first, Lance is extremely excited as he lets his grievances out about his constant futile attempts at finding work. Lance soon discovers that Jack is part of a smuggling ring in which he is a member of a band of robbers who break into rich people’s homes and steal many priceless artifacts, especially art pieces.

Lance is shocked and at first refuses to help the group. However, as team leader Ellis tells Lance the story of how they are similar in that they both have finished school but have found nothing in terms of legitimate jobs, Lance sees a new light. As Lance finds himself enthralled in the heists, he forges a bond with Allie, Ellis’ girlfriend who is seen as the one who pulls the gang together. However, when the group grows tired of being somewhat stiffed by big boss Mel, Jack has come up with a plan for the ultimate heist. Lance has his reservations, but faced with no other option, he decides to get the plan going no matter what it takes.

A heist drama about a group of college students who have worked the system only to be feel screwed is quite ingenious. It is more of a fact that this is a true story, as told in flashback form when an aspiring author, played by Lesley Ann Warren, engages in conversation with our protagonist Lance. Or so we think at first. Usually when it comes to this type of storytelling, it is usually seen from one character’s point of view, but the surprise comes that we get the POVs from other important characters including Hayley Law’s Allie and Oliver Cooper’s Stewart to name a few.

In the lead role of Lance is Patrick Schwarzenegger, who proved with both Midnight Sun and Daniel Isn’t Real that he doesn’t necessarily need to do action films like his dad. He’s got the emotional range and here, he plays someone who goes from shock to game changer as he finds himself reluctant at first. Within time and convincing from Alex Pettyfer’s Ellis, Lance finds himself totally involved and then some. As for Pettyfer, he really chews it up as team leader Ellis, who knows from the beginning Lance may not be a good fit.

And it is when he sees Lance with Allie that he really begins to show his threatening side. However, what’s interesting is there is no romantic spark between Lance and Allie at all. They are merely respectful towards each other due to their similar situations. And if that’s not crazy enough, enter the always awesome to watch Michael Shannon as big boss Mel. As soon as he appears on screen, you know what you’re in for. Shannon is intense from the moment he shows up. He can be a nice guy one minute and then vicious the next. The turning point of the rift between Ellis and Lance is when Mel asks Lance to make sure the gang is kept in line after Ellis fails a job due to a tear in the art stolen.

Echo Boomers is a thrilling and emotional tale of college students who felt the system has failed them and robbery is their way of retaliation. Patrick Schwarzenegger continues to show why he is one of Hollywood’s next generational talents. Michael Shannon and Alex Pettyfer bring intensity to their roles.

WFG RATING: B+

Saban Films presents a Speakeasy/Wetzel Entertainment Productions film in association with Organic Media Group, Foton Pictures, and Dark Dreams Entertainment. Director: Seth Savoy. Producers: Byron Wetzel, James Langer, Lucas Jarach, Kelly Mi Li, Jeff G. Waxman, Matthew Zamias, Mike Ware, Sean Kaplan, and Jason Miller. Writers: Seth Savoy, Kevin Bernhardt, and Jason Miller. Cinematography: Carlos Veron. Editing: Dean Gonzalez and Ken O’Keefe.

Cast: Patrick Schwarzenegger, Lesley Ann Warren, Alex Pettyfer, Gilles Geary, Hayley Law, Oliver Cooper, Michael Shannon, Mike Hatton.

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