Movie Review: UPGRADE

June 14, 2018 By

CAST: Logan Marshall-Green, Betty Gabriel, Melanie Vallejo

DIRECTOR: Leigh Whannell

Although it may be tough to tell right from the beginning, this movie does not star British heartthrob Tom Hardy. Instead, the star of this movie is his look alike, “Spider-Man Homecoming’s” Logan Marshall-Green. He portrays “Grey” an old school guy living his way though a futuristic landscape where technology supports almost everything that needs to be done. The beautiful Melanie Valleio portrays his wife “Asha”, a corporate worker who is all about this technology that isn’t too far off from our current state.

Grey and Asha are being “self driven” home one night after a meeting with technology entrepreneur Eron Keen, when their car is hacked and taken off course into a seedy neighborhood. After Grey witnesses some thugs murder his wife, he is then shot and paralyzed from the neck down. Eron Keen visits Grey in the hospital and offers him some new technology that could give him a second chance at life. The results of this technical computer chip upgrade also gives Grey the ability to try and solve the mystery of his wife’s murder while the investigation, led by Detective Cortez (Betty Gabriel from “Get Out”) stalls because of technology failures.

From here the movie becomes a “Revenge Flick” as Grey and the tech implanted in his brain called “STEM” start tracking down all that were responsible for this situation.

From the unique title cards at the start of the film, to the crisp cinematography, to the unusual camera placements throughout, this movie is definitely a notch above it’s “B-movie” plotline. Writer-Director Leigh Whannell (Saw, Insidious Films) shows an incredibly confident hand in storytelling here. He knows what type of film this is supposed to be delivers. It’s also deliciously gory in its violence which I was not expecting. The action scenes are thrilling, due to the some of the thugs having unique weapon upgrades of their own.

The tight storyline, the play it straight performances, and unique characters make this movie feel like a fresh addition to the Sci-Fi, revenge shelf catalogue, right on the shelf next to “Robocop”. Fun, bloody, solid story, and just the right length, this is one of my favorite movies so far in 2018.

GOOD: The directing, story, performances, especially between Grey and STEM.
BAD: Nothing, exactly what it should be.
OVERALL: A weird mixture of Robocop, The Crow, Six Million Dollar Man, and Ex-Machina that actually works.

4.5 out of 5

-Marquee Mark