I wish I could see more movies like this. I didn’t know a thing about it other than the IMDB description. I hadn’t seen a single trailer. It kept the whole movie fresh and it was glorious.
Upgrade is a futuristic revenge thriller with a touch of Robocop, mixed with Venom from that recent trailer, with a hint of Ex Machina in there. In this one, during an apparent robbery gone wrong, Grey Trace (Logan Marshall-Green) is paralyzed from the neck down and his wife is brutally murdered. After this incident, a young billionaire offers Grey a new chance at life, implanted with a computer chip that helps him regain control of his body, and get revenge on the ones that took everything from him.
This movie came out of nowhere and surprised me. I hadn’t even heard of it until the day I saw it after I noticed it getting good reviews. The story, after the first half hour, is original and well thought out. The ending almost goes one direction that I was going to hate, then takes a quick twist that was great and unexpected. The futuristic world that is built seems very real, even with the small budget this movie had. The performances are good and there are some extremely well choreographed fight scenes in here that are worth the price of admission alone. There is even a touch of humor in here that works well and meshes with the tone of the rest of the movie. Leigh Whannell directs his first movie outside of the Insidious franchise and allows his style to really come through here and does a good job.
The weakest part of the movie is the first half hour. It is a very by the numbers, cookie cutter set up for a revenge movie. It feels out of place for a movie that is otherwise very original. I also felt the villains in this were a little weak, including an over the top performance from the main one. We don’t learn much about them or even who they are until the last act of the movie. I feel like the movie could have taken a little more time to develop these characters and flesh them out as great villains.
Overall, Upgrade was a shockingly entertaining film. For hardcore sci-fi action fans, I recommend seeing it in theaters. It will make a good cable movie for others. I will warn that it does get very violent at times and isn’t for those who don’t like a little blood/gore in their action scenes. I enjoyed it a lot and Upgrade gets a 4.25/5.