Home Page > Movies Index (w/mixed oldies) > > Movie Review

This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

This is a true story—Right!

Echo Boomers (2020) on IMDb

Plot Overview

owl and booksMillennial activists Ellis Beck (Alex Pettyfer) & Allie Tucker (Hayley Law) started dating à la Bonnie and Clyde to make a political state­ment against the system. Their various scams evolved into Chicago home invasions with a fence Mel Donnelly (Michael Shannon,) Jack (Gilles Geary) from Dixie, a get­away driver Chandler Gaines (Jacob Alexander,) a security expert Stewart Magenelli (Oliver Cooperan,) and an insider home insurance agent. Jack recruits his younger cousin Lance Zutter­land (Patrick Schwarzenegger) after learning he's just graduated with an art degree and is on the ropes looking for work. They need an art expert to decide on the fly what's valuable enough to take.

looking guiltyWhere Bonnie & Clyde gained notoriety giving the banks' money to the poor, this crew royally trashed the homes they burgled and then got wasted with their take. Ultimately, their crime spree was “unsustain­able” though they tried to adapt when Mel's insider bailed on them, and some tried to implement a plan ‘B’.


handshakeTo be fair Lance didn't know what he was getting into when he came in response to Jack's job offer and by then he was on the hook. Then once he got a taste of money and acceptance it was very difficult to change course. What he should have done upon seeing what it entailed was to get out of it right away (“Plausible deniability was over two houses ago”) while making peace with Jack. (Prov. 6:1-5) “My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger, Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth. Do this now, my son, and deliver thy­self, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thy­self, and make sure thy friend. Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eye­lids. Deliver thy­self as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.”

For that matter Lance was not in such dire straits that he was forced into crime to survive as he had in the art world one job offer at least: “minimum wage with a lot of room to grow.” (Prov. 6:6-8) “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, over­seer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.”

Jack seemed to intimate (“Let's get some rest and get outta here tomorrow”) that his cousin was in fact lazy (“We need to get some sleep.”) (Prov. 6:9-11) “How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travel­leth, and thy want as an armed man.” He's likely to wake up destitute.

Once Lance arrived in town to start some unknown job in “acquisitions,” Jack turned on the power of persuasion to entice him into a shady deal. (Prov. 6:12) “A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth.”

(Prov. 6:13) “He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers.” Rather than give Lance specifics, there was a lot of head nodding, foot­work, and hand waving, all done with the confidence of some­one who felt he was in the moral right. He was taking from the undeserving 1% to distribute to them­selves the passed over 99%. Bonnie and Clyde felt they were doing good, as were justified the protagonists in one of Timothy Hallinan's novels:

Kalmenson is a finger-snapper, a man who points at people across the room and crooks a finger when he wants them, a man who indulges in the kind of imperious post-colonial behavior that makes Rafferty feel apologetic for being a farang. Within a moment after sitting down, Kalmenson refers to the Thais as “these people” and makes it clear that he holds each and every one of them personally responsible for the sorry mess the country is in—

“Who needs the farmers?” Kalmenson makes an expansive sweeping gesture with the back of his hand just missing his wine glass. “They're a mess. They have too many kids, so farms that once were decent size have been carved into dozens of tiny plots, all brothers and fathers and cousins, squabbling night and day. A night­mare to deal with. So here's the deal. These people are already living at subsistence level, right?”

Rafferty, whose wife's bankrupt father tried to sell her into the sex trade, swallows and says, “Right.”

“It's a classic squeeze. As a miller, you lower the price you pay for their unmilled rice, and you increase the price they pay for the milled rice they eat. Say they're making two hundred baht per kilo for unmilled rice, but they're spending three for the rice they live on. And you restrict the kind of seed they use and double the price. The farmers are in a deeper hole every year. Beauty, huh?” He pulls the bread basket over to him, and peeks in, then raises his hand to catch a waiter's eye and points at the basket.

“Typical,” he says as the waiter takes the basket. “So, so, so—right, right—he sets up the North­east Farmers' Trust, Ton does, a little bank with no purpose except to lend money to farmers who aren't making it. No interest, just a balloon payment at the end of the year. And you map the village, mark out the pieces each family uses, and when it comes time to collect and they can't pay, you fore­close. The first ones you take are the ones around the perimeters, create a wall around as many paddies as you can. Deny people the right to cross your paddies to get to theirs. Put rural cops—here's where being an opera cop, with that fancy uniform, pays off—to enforce the no trespassing edict.”

Rafferty says, “What happens to the families who get foreclosed on?”

“He keeps them on at first, pays them a little to work their old land. But when you've got ten or fifteen plots, you give all but one or two of the families the old heave-ho and leave the others in charge. Then, when you've made it really difficult for people to get across your land to their family plot—good one, family plot, because that's what it turns out to be—you offer the others sixty cents on the dollar to sell. Pretty soon, you own a village. Do it often enough, and you'll own the rice business from seed to feed and every­thing in between. And he does. About fifteen percent, like I said.” (288–291)

“Thousands of children, thrown onto the streets of Bangkok to live any way they can, foot­notes to some spread­sheet of gain and loss in the rice trade” (Hallinan, 295) might have a legitimate generational gripe with the fat cat(s) responsible, but the case for the mil­len­nials in “Echo Boomers” is never made. In the 1967 movie “Bonnie and Clyde,” there was some attempt at explaining why the banks were corrupt and deserved to be robbed, but in “Echo Boomers” it's simply assumed pro­mis­cuous­ly that the uber rich, ipso facto, got that way by ripping off the common man, even though the possibility is presented that some started small and worked their way up by dint of perspiration. It's also suggested that students may have made poor choices in the loans they took out.

This gang of millennials doesn't get along well with each other and not even a cousin can be trusted. (Prov. 6:14) “Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord.”

It is a given that Lance's crime spree is not going to end well for him. (Prov. 6:15) “Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy.”

Production Values

” (2020) was directed by Seth Savoy. It was written by Kevin Bern­hardt and Jason Miller. It stars Michael Shan­non, Patrick Schwarzenegger, and Alex Pettyfer. Shannon quit him­self well as the slightly older fence with a chip on his shoulder. The others seemed to be just getting their feet wet as far as acting goes.

MPAA rated it R for drug use and pervasive language. It was filmed on location in Chicago, Illinois, USA, with other locations sprinkled in. It's 1½ hours long. The characters are not sympathetic and their causes not deeply concerning. It is fast-paced with a lot of action. Don't expect pleasant surprises.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

This was a so so movie with enough action to keep one awake, but the childish behavior of a millennial gang hardly made one sympathetic to their plight. There is a sort of disclaimer at the end saying they don't represent millennials as a whole who are basically law abiding. It's a good object lesson on how to be a loser.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Edge of your seat action-packed. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Better than watching TV. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Three stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quotations were from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Hallinan, Timothy. For the Dead. Copyright © 2014 by Timothy Hallinan. New York: Soho Press, 2014. Print.