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Echelon Conspiracy

Score: 35%
Rating: PG-13
Publisher: Paramount
Region: 1
Media: DVD/1
Running Time: 105 Mins.
Genre: Action/Sci-Fi
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles: English, French, Spanish


  • Widescreen Format: 16x9 Aspect Ratio

What would have happened if the sentient computer in Eagle Eye could have been reasoned with, a la the sentient computer in Wargames? The Echelon Conspiracy.

Shane West plays the part of Max Peterson, a computer security expert who mysteriously receives a cellphone that isn't even on the market yet. With this cellphone, he begins to receive untraceable text messages that bring him good fortune, from saving his life to giving him amazing stock tips and even winning him money in a casino. As would be expected, this causes him to become quite attached to the phone and its advice.

The problem with casinos, of course, is that there are always people watching. And, for some unknown reason, the security team finds Max's activity to be a bit... strange, as he keeps consulting his cellphone before every move he makes, and goes to a slot machine, wins with one pull, then heads off to his next win. Yeah, I guess that would have been a bit hard to miss. This put him at odds with John Reed (Edward Burns), the head of security for the casino. However, just when John Reed gets ready to take him into custody for a little bit of 'splaining, Agent Dave Grant (Ving Raimes) of the FBI shows up from out of nowhere and snatches Max Peterson up, claiming that he's part of something much bigger than cheating a casino.

It seems that Echelon, the A.I. project that the government built to keep track of, well, everybody, has become sentient, as in it's thinking (and acting) for itself. When Congress votes down an upgrade that would have made Echelon darn near omniscient, Echelon has other ideas, and plans to use Max Peterson to get its way. It's up to Max to figure out what Echelon is trying to do... and to try to determine how to stop it. Of course, he eventually does, in a scene that could have been cut and pasted from Wargames or, for that matter, a Star Trek: The Original Series episode.

If you're looking for special features, sorry... nothing here, but scene selection, subtitles and previews for other movies you could have been watching. I find it very ironic that the first of which is actually a preview of Eagle Eye. That's kinda like going on a first date and telling the girl, "hey, before we get started on a night you're going to wish you could forget, let me tell you about my better looking, more popular big brother." And, regardless of the movie, it's really unforgivable not to have something for special features these days.

Echelon Conspiracy has some action sequences and offers an interesting twist on the "debonair gambling spy," but really, I liked this movie much better when it was... well, in several other versions, be it Wargames or Eagle Eye. Unless you're attempting to collect all of the movies that star Ving Rhames or Martin Sheen, this is, at best, something to put at the end of your Netflix queue, just in case you've ever seen, well, everything.

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

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