Upgrade (2018) Review

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Needed something to watch the other week and noticed this was out so me and the Missus settled down to watch this revenge film. I’ve always loved a revenge film all they need is a reason, any reason at all and some violence and I’m happy. However with this being set in the near future where the world has taken on board advancements in technology to their own bodies I knew it was worth a look.

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Director – Leigh Whannell

Writer – Leigh Whennell

Stars – Logan Marshall-Green, Melanie Vallejo, Steve Danielsen, Harrison Gilbertson Benedeict Hardie and Betty Gabriel

Budget – $5 million estimated

Run Time – 100 minutes

Tagline – Not Man. Not Machine. More.

The film starts like all revenge films have for years and years from John Wick to The Crow and everything in between, that’s right it gives our “hero” a reason for his vengeful path to start. Grey is a man who feels out of place, the world is evolving, technology is taking over. For Grey it’s the cars that he hates most, they now drive themselves and he’s a man who likes to work with his hands and repair old cars. He has one client left an extremely rich oddball in charge of a technology firm that works on implants.

Stem

One day Grey and his wife have their date night and then head home in the car that drives itself. Suddenly he realises that they’re not going the right way and are heading away from their home. Then tragedy strikes the car overturns and Grey wakes up to some goons dragging his wife from the car. She’s then brutally murdered in front of him and they don’t stop there they paralyse Grey and leave him staring at his dead wife.

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A few months after the accident the oddball rich guy visits Grey and offers him a solution to his problems, a piece of technology called STEM that will allow him to walk again. He reluctantly agrees and soon it’s clear STEM is more than what even rich oddball Eron Keen thought it would be. With the ability to walk Grey decides to start investigating who killed his wife, keeping his mobility a secret from everyone.

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This is where STEM kicks off and Grey gets his revenge, turns out STEM can communicate with him but not only that it makes him stronger and faster. It takes control of his body with his permission and dishes out some serious punishment which is often very violent. Detective Cortez is also investigating the death of Grey’s wife and begins to suspect him when the bodies start to pile up.

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His revenge mission takes him on a path of blood and death as he dodges the authorities and begins to become wary of STEM’s abilities and decisions. Leading to one massive fight with another person who has implants in his body, I’m not sure here but the film concludes with a bit of a twist that is so painfully obvious it stops this film from being great.

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The Good

  • The whole idea of the film is an interesting twist on the usual wife/family death following by bloody revenge.
  • It’s nicely paced as the fight scenes deliver some good stuff and the end fight was great.
  • Strongly acted from Logan Marshall-Green and Betty Gabriel as Grey and Detective Cortez.
  • It’s a nice setting in the not too far future.

The Bad

  • The ending left me a bit disappointed, with a stronger ending this would be an 8 out of 10.
  • Not many characters, now I’m usually a fan of this but there was a few people missing in this and it could have benefitted from maybe a bit of lightheartedness at some point.

This is a decent revenge film overall and probably worth your time, it has some great moment and some gory ones. With strong acting from the lead characters it’s nicely paced and in general a good sit back and enjoy film.

Overall Rating – 6.5/10

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