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Echelon Conspiracy
BLU-RAY disk
08.12.2009 By: Jason Adams
Echelon Conspiracy order download
Director:
Greg Marcks

Actors:
Shane West
Ed Burns
Ving Rhames

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
An average joe gets a mysterious phone in the mail and begins receiving text messages that lead him to great wealth…and an ominous government conspiracy that threatens his life and national security.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
If that synopsis sounds a wee bit familiar, it’s because ECHELON CONSPIRACY is pretty much EAGLE EYE but with straight to DVD talent and production values. It even boasts the same plot twist, except this movie gives it away 40 minutes in.

It chugs along harmlessly throughout, but for a modern conspiracy techno-thriller, ECHELON CONSPIRACY is really dumb. It’s small things really…like when the heroes need technical assistance they turn to a cab driver who is luckily also a hacker on the side, and who’s able to do stuff the NSA and CIA can’t. Or that the hero uses his magical cheating telephone to win at a high security casino, the one place where they actually pay people to look for cheaters. Also, the film opens with a lady who follows a text message that leads her on to a subway track. Then she’s surprised when she gets hit by a train.

As evidenced by his previous roles, Shane West makes for an incredibly bland lead and his character is pretty worthless throughout. The romantic interest literally has to save him and fight bad guys. Granted, it’s a change of pace in the name of feminism, but it also makes you laugh when the hero hides in a bathtub whenever the action starts.

The movie also boasts an impressive supporting cast of once great actors who no longer matter. Ving Rhames as an FBI agent who calls everyone “Sunshine.” Ed Burns as an American who for some reason works security at a Czech casino. Martin Sheen as the head of the NSA. And Jonathan Pryce as a rich evil white guy. All of them are fine in their roles and lend some credence to the proceedings, but none are able to elevate a generic genre retread like this.
THE EXTRAS
Nothing.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I bet the makers of ECHELON CONSPIRACY were pi-i-i-issed when EAGLE EYE beat them to the punch. Because this is pretty much the same movie, just not done as well.

Extra Tidbit: Writer Kevin Elders also wrote IRON EAGLE (Louis Gossett Jr., baby!) and directed the abominable Dennis Rodman movie SIMON SEZ.
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