- Studio: Paramount Home Entertainment
- Theatrical Release Year: 2009
- US DVD Release Date: July 21, 2009
- Rated: PG-13 (for sequences of intense violence and action, some sexuality, and brief language)
- Running Time: 105 minutes
- Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 anamorphic
- Audio: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
- Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
Movie: 2.5 out of 5
While in Bangkok, Thailand on business installing security software for the national archives, Max Peterson (Shane West, from ER and Alpha Dog) receives a DHL package with a cell phone from an anonymous sender. He begins to receive anonymous text messages telling him to stay another night at the hotel, and finds that the plane he was scheduled to fly home on mysteriously crashes with no survivors. The phone tells him to invest in a stock, then the shares triple in value overnight. When the phone tells him that fortune awaits him in Prague, Max is on the next flight to the Czech Republic, and hits it big at the casino, winning 3 million Euros on a slot machine. Red flags are raised, and Max is soon under surveillance by both FBI agent Dave Grant (Ving Rhames) and former FBI agent and head of casino security John Reed (Ed Burns). Martin Sheen (West Wing) co-stars as NSA Chief Raymond Burke, and Jonathan Pryce (Brazil, Pirates of the Caribbean) plays casino owner Mueller.
Echelon Conspiracy turns out to be a low-rent knockoff of Eagle Eye, without the star power or tension, and much less plausible.
Video: 2.5 out of 5
The 2.40:1 anamorphic video is, for the most part, quite good, although I did notice an overall softness to the image. Colors are well-saturated, but contrast can, at times, appear a bit blown out. I did notice some video noise, but did not find it too distracting. There are, however, a few shots (such as the plane landing at the airport in Prague) that are littered with compression artifact to the point of distraction.
Audio: 3.5 out of 5
Fairing much better is the Dolby Digital 5.1 track, encoded at 448 kbps. Frequency response is very good, with booming LFE during music passages and during the few action sequences, and the surrounds kick in quite frequently, enveloping the viewer. Dialogue is centered and intelligible.
Special Features: 0 out of 5
No special features are included, except for trailers for Eagle Eye, Defiance, TV on DVD, and American Gangster Season 2, all in non-anamorphic video.
Overall: 2.5 out of 5
Echelon Conspiracy is not necessarily a bad movie, but coming on the heels of Eagle Eye, it feels like a cheap imitation. Add in the fact that Paramount neglected to include any special features whatsoever make this a disappointing release.