My Review of 'Upgrade'
A little known sci-fi revenge film—is this a must see? Or is it another wannabe?
Upgrade is a movie that's been talked about by a lot of reviewers last year. They were ranting and raving about how this movie was the sci-fi movie of 2018. I didn't hear much about it because it's an independent low budget movie so they didn't have too much advertising for it. Sometimes word of mouth works in the industry. Eventually I caught wind of the reviews and I finally got a chance to check it out.
This movie is about Grey Trace, played by Logan Marshall-Green. He's living a great life with his wife Asha played by Melanie Vallejo. He gets to stay at home building cars while she works for some tech company. They live a great life until their self driving car malfunctions on route back to their home. The car gets itself into an accident and a gang comes in to mug them. Unfortunately in that altercation Asha is murdered by one of the gang members and Grey becomes a quadriplegic. Obviously, the event brings Grey to rock bottom, but his friend Eron played by Harrison Gilbertson says he has a way to give him the ability to walk again.
After some reluctance Grey agrees and the procedure is a success. The only thing is now Grey is linked with a computer named Stem voiced by Simon Maiden. Unbeknownst to Grey, Stem gives Grey superhuman abilities and together they work to avenge the death Grey's wife Asha.
The synopsis sounds super corny and it is. It feels like an 80s action flick. The low budget of the film further gives the movie that 80s action flick feel. You have to get over the pure cheese in the beginning of the movie to really enjoy it. Once Grey connects with Stem the movie really starts to take off. It never really derails from the old action flick feel though. There is a ton of violence and machismo in this movie that we're used to from the past. It's done a little differently but it's definitely recognizable. There's a lot of predictable moments in this movie as well.
As for the action, I think that the sequences were really well done. For an independent film they were done very nicely and they have to be super proud of themselves for this. The lead up to the action sequences are great. They have good intensity and anticipation built up before each of the fight sequences. Logan Marshall-Green did a spectacular job making me feel like he wasn't truly in control of his body.
Now this is a pretty gory movie. There's tons of violence and I think this is actually geared toward people that love action movies more than sci-fi. This movie isn't for everyone. I particularly enjoyed it and thought it was executed pretty well.
Overall, I would say that I can see why reviewers were ranting and raving over this movie but I don't totally agree with all of their opinions. I wouldn't say that this movie was as great as they were making it out to be but it was enjoyable nonetheless. I would have to give this movie a 7 out of 10. The opening is super cheesy like it came from a straight to DVD action movie and the movie is predictable as heck. That doesn't take away from the fact that this movie was a fun ride. Action fans should definitely check it out. I hope that the word of mouth advertising continues to work out for this movie. This movie should get a cult following. You can tell that they put a lot of time and effort into putting this movie together.