Upgrade is the new science fiction, action film from Blumhouse Productions, which is normally known for their horror films such as Insidious and The Purge, as well as Oscar winners Get Out and Whiplash… so, you’re never really quite sure what you’re going to get. Upgrade turns out to be one of the better ones, offering science fiction fans vibes of The Matrix and Terminator.Upgrade is the new science fiction, action film from Blumhouse Productions, which is normally known for their horror films such as Insidious and The Purge, as well as Oscar winners Get Out and Whiplash… so, you’re never really quite sure what you’re going to get. Upgrade turns out to be one of the better ones, offering science fiction fans vibes of The Matrix and Terminator.
Upgrade takes place in a dystopian future where machines run all most aspects of human life. It stars Logan Marshall-Green as Grey, whose wife is killed and he is paralyzed in a violent assault. A tech genius helps Grey regain his body movements through the use of a computer chip called Stem. So, he basically becomes Robocop. Grey then uses his regained abilities to hunt down his wife’s killers; kind of like Death Wish. While Upgrade does steal a little from other films, director Leigh Whannell, most known for his work with the Saw franchise, does such a good job of piecing together all of these elements that it feels fresh and innovative. During the fight sequences you can almost feel his creative excitement coming through the screen.
The action set pieces and the fight scenes are the stars of the show. Whannel uses a locked on tracking effect instead of the usual fast editing techniques that most other action films use. However, with a short fun time of just about ninety minutes, there could have definitely been a few more action sequences added in without bogging down the entertainment.
The science fiction is dystopian and the action is R rated brutality, but there’s also quite a lot of comedy to lighten things up when they get most violent. It’s definitely not a full blown comedy, but there are some one-liners as well as some over-the-top, slapstick violence that will make you chuckle and burst out laughing at times.
With all of these great things going for it, Upgrade is not without its faults. The film has an overall dialogue problem, especially with its female characters. The wife, the mother, and the lead cop all say lines that are so amateurish and filled with exposition that it’s almost comical, but then again, most viewers won’t be interested in a movie like this for its dialogue. On top of that, the wife character in general is extremely bad. The actress does a poor job with a limited amount to work with, but stick with the movie as her scenes are over quickly and the movie is great once she is offscreen.
Whose Review gives Upgrade the overall score of: Grade A, B-Movie. It’s an adrenaline packed, science fiction, genre film that will excite you, disgust you, and most importantly of all… entertain you. It does an excellent job of mixing genres in a fresh way and it overcomes its weaknesses to be a worthwhile film that stands out in a summer of superheroes and sequels.
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Photo courtesy of Upgrade.