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Friday, February 27 12:00 AM ET

Trailer Review: Echelon Conspiracy

By Brian Briggs

I had two choices for trailers to review.  I had to pick between Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li and Echelon Conspiracy.  Now, normally I would pick the movie based on a video game that would usually be the easiest to make fun of and the geekiest.  However, Echelon Conspiracy is easily the worst of these two trailers and is sufficiently geeky to be worthy of mockery.

What did I just say?

Be warned, this trailer has as many technology head smackers as last year's Untraceable.  By the end you'll wish you had a whole case of V-8s. 

The trailer opens with a woman walking down the subway tracks in an apparent suicide attempt.  She's not a main character, so we shouldn't care.

Voiceover guy tells us that every phone call, every surveillance camera is monitored.  Every one.  Except this one. 

Our protagonist opens a box to see the phone. He's like sweet man, a prototype G4, fuck yeah!  The phone talks to him.  It tells him to change his flight time.  Huh?  How does it know I have a flight?  Throwing caution to the wind he changes his flight.  Lucky him, the flight he was supposed to be on crashes.

Now we can take two things from this scene.  The phone can make planes crash, and this was just a demonstration of its power, or it can predict the future.  But that's not all!

The phone tells him to play slot machine 13.  He does and wins the jackpot.  It tells him to bet it all on a hand of blackjack, and he's dealt a 21.  Now, it's becoming clear that this phone can tell the future, and has nothing to do with Echelon… or does it!

To the Choppa!
To the choppa!

Now enters Edward Burns and Ving Rhames.  They're monitoring this "lucky" guy with the phone that can tell the future.  They know that once the people with the phone get hooked on making easy money, the phone turns evil and kills them, because everyone who has had one of these phones is dead. 

The protagonist asks "What is Echelon?"  Apparently, he's one of maybe two people on the Internet that's never heard of it.  He's told it filters all global communication, but not that it can TELL THE FUTURE!

Obviously, this phone is very valuable and people want it, so he's in a lot of danger. Then there's a terrible joke about driving.  I cringed. 

For some unknown reason a woman becomes involved.  She's worse than the phone, because people start shooting at her.

Next, we're taken to the command center of Echelon where they actually say, "The messages are coming from inside… U.S. territories."  I swear they were going to say "inside the house!"  That's just how dumb this trailer is.

The trailer ends with an action montage of explosions and car chases, but by this point I truly had no idea what was going on.


Trailer Quicktime

Shane West
Edward Burns

Director Greg Marcks
Official Site Link
US Opening

February 27, 2009

Rated Not Yet Rated
Genre Technology Thriller
Explosions 2
Weapons Fist, subway train, assault rifle, handgun, SMG, car, feet, shotgun
Man Quotient


Déjà Vu
Generic Action Film
Geek Factor 25%
See Trailer? No
See Movie? No
Follow Up Pending

Oh, but wait,  there's more.  The phone tells the guy, "If you turn me off I'll kill you."  And then he crosses the street and is almost hit by two cars.  <headsmack>

Ending Prognostication:  If I had any idea what was actually going on in the movie, I'd be able to make an accurate guess, instead I'll just predict that he decides to get an iPhone 3G at the end of the movie.

Conclusion on Trailer: A confused mess of technological babble and other nonsensical things.  If you're confused by a two minute trailer then how will it make sense in a full-length movie?  There's bad dialog, and plenty of head smackers.  The only reason to watch this trailer is to laugh at it.

Conclusion on Movie:  This movie is going to be bad, and not the "so bad, it's good" type bad.  Just the regular old bad.  It'll be the kind of movie that makes you wonder why a movie like this was ever made.  Don't go see it or it will kill you.  Have I made my point?

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