Mysterious cell phone messages promise a young American engineer untold wealth–leading him as the target of a deadly international plot. Dangerous security operatives chase the engineer across the globe, while a powerful government official pursues a mysterious agenda that threatens the stability of the entire world
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When it comes to technology, one can think of endless possibilities to achieve the impossible. Be it in terms of finance, development, entertainment, etc. If technology steps in the game, the game can truly be changed.
The opening scene of Greg Marcks’s Echelon Conspiracy establishes the young, passionate protagonist Max Peterson (Shane West) as a computer engineer more than capable of fixing any computer malfunction with MacGyver-esque panache. As Peterson is about to pack up from a business trip in China, a mysterious cellphone arrives from an anonymous sender and instructs him to do various tasks via text messages, leading him to a bright side of life through the tunnel of strong technology. Some of the suggestive texts produce good outcomes as well as bad.
Peterson is greeted by a whole list of colorful characters trying to obtain the origins of the phone and its ominous messages: From the hard-boiled F.B.I. agent, Grant (Ving Rhames), who soon seizes Peterson and his cellphone, to the head of securities at the casino, John Reed (Edward Burns), who also takes an interest in the computer geek and his noticeable winnings. The U.S. government is soon revealed as the culprit behind the inexhaustible scruples, indicated by the often-commanding (but surprisingly expendable here) Martin Sheen as a high-level government nut-job who predictably runs amuck with dictatorial tendency.
Though the film is completely a pixel tech stuff on the screen creating suspense linked like a chain through the storyline, it often describes some impossible scenarios where humans are capable of playing gods via technology. A human life controlled and manipulated entirely by surveillance program that starts to operate on its own at some point mysteriously. The movie lack fineness in everything when compared to actual possibilities in terms of computer and robotics.
As far as leading men go, West doesn’t make for a particularly compelling or swoon-worthy one, and the rest of the cast seems like they’re just waiting for their checks to clear. Echelon Conspiracy slightly disguises as a ticking bomb but is ultimately sans heart-pounding jolts. One thing that Marcks never quite figures out is that all thrillers require thrills, and positioning intangible NSA software as an unstoppable killing machine no longer feels like an enthusiastic novel.