Echelon Conspiracy - DVD Review

'exactly what something like Mega Piranha should have been: a decent and unapologetic genre-flick, made on a small budget by people who kind of understand what they’re doing'

One of those films which remains fun despite woeful acting and an abysmal script, Echelon Conspiracy is best surmised as a low-budget remake of the Eagle Eye story. Considering that film’s unreserved smugness at its own ‘fantastic’ premise though, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing and director Greg Marcks cooks up a decent amount of slickly composed action whilst revealing just enough of the story to keep the mystery both simultaneously tangible and pleasantly out-of-reach.

Michael Nitsberg and Kevin Elders’s screenplay is one of those efforts which rely on characters revealing key pieces of information without prompt or circumstance to keep the story moving; ‘I’m not with the F.B.I anymore’ Ed Burns' John Reed offers early on, despite no-one suggesting anything to the contrary or even loosely bringing up the subject. Burns’ character in particular is guilty of this on several occasions but his shady Head Of Security for Jonathan Pryce’s decidedly nefarious businessman remains the most interesting character of the piece.

Shane West’s character, Max Peterson, by contrast, is flat, atypical and unsympathetic; the type of IT geek that would perhaps provide comic relief in another film but here is rather lumbered with the role of protagonist. That West is no leading man doesn’t help matters and it’s nigh on impossible to really feel anything towards his rather detached security expert, Burns and Ving Rhames instead taking the attention with much-needed meaty supporting turns.

Despite all its problems though, Echelon Conspiracy is exactly what something like Mega Piranha should have been: a decent and unapologetic genre-flick, made on a small budget by people who kind of understand what they’re doing. It’s easily enough fun to justify spending an evening in its company and whilst you can add ‘poor production values’ to its list of misdemeanours, there’s never anything here that ruins the general goodwill towards a fairly solid direct-to-DVD outing.




Echelon Conspiracy is out in the UK on Blu-ray and DVD from 4th October.

Look further...

'there's little about Echelon Conspiracy that's watchable, let alone enjoyable' - ReelViews.net, 1.5/4

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