In the distant future, a brutal mugging leaves Grey Trace paralyzed and his beloved wife dead. Not content with how his life has been changed, a billionaire inventor offers Grey a solution- an artificial intelligence implant called STEM that enhances his body. Now with his life upgraded, Grey uses his newfound superhuman skills to hunt down the men who ruined his life and seek the vengeance he feels he deserves.
If this is the future that’s in store for us, then it’s a truly horrifying future to live in. There are people in this film that have mechanical implants that are crudely done, such as guns being implanted into people’s arms.
As a film with a small or limited budget- I was very impressed with what was done, mostly due to Leigh Whannell’s directing. In case y’all don’t know who Leigh Whannell is, he’s one of the creative producers of the first SAW film- a film he also starred in, and he directed Insidious Chapter 3. The camera angles and tricks used in this film were both very impressive and effective to tell the dark gritty mood of this film, but also to ramp up the action in this film.
If y’all saw the trailer to this movie, you might’ve mistaken the actor in this film as Tom Hardy because how similar both men look, sorry to disappoint you, Logan-Marshall Green isn’t Tom Hardy, but he might as well be with his amazing acting chops in this film. He was able to balance horror, comedy, drama, and the robotic movements the AI implanted into his body had him doing. All these different things were done seamlessly and without that, I’m not sure the movie would have succeeded as well.
Another thing about this movie I enjoyed were the dark tones of the film, and the action. There’s gore in this film, but it’s not over-used and whenever it is used… it’s used effectively to let the audience know that things have gotten serious.
One of the things that I didn’t like about this film is how some of the characters aren’t completely fleshed out… you have some villains that are just bad guys with mechanical enhancements. You have a female detective that you don’t know much about. And the billionaire inventor is a weird, quirky, anti-social Leonardo DiCaprio clone that was made in a lab somewhere.
However, the ending to this film was so dark, so clever, that it somehow evened everything out for me… the more I think about it, I feel like this would be great for something like “Black Mirror”, a Netflix show that is the Sci-Fi, modern day Twilight Zone.
As a jaded Movie Critic, it’s hard for me to find a movie that feels different, and breathes fresh air into my lungs as I’m surrounded by giant Blockbusters that all feel so manufactured and by-the-numbers. It’s nice to finally have something fresh and different in the theater, and I feel like this movie is gonna take a lot of people by surprise.
I said a lot of good things about this film, but it’s not a perfect film, the problems are still there- but that doesn’t mean it isn’t enjoyable… I came to see the action and it delivered that and more. I’m giving “Upgrade” a 8.5/10 or a B+
This is the Sleeper Hit of not only the Summer, but I’d also say it’s the Sleeper Hit of 2018. I defiantly recommend giving this film a watch!