Upgrade (2018) – Movie Review

 

**Minor Spoilers** Though not intentional, I will keep the plot and story vague and try only to share my opinions and whether or not it’s an enjoyable experience. Away we go:

 

The Premise

Set in the near future, a recently paralyzed man (Logan Marshall-Green) is given a microchip to help him walk. This new AI can do so much more and tries to help our hero solve the reason for his accident and death of his wife.

This is pure Sci-fi gold. The kind of film that harks back to the b-movies from the 80’s. An ordinary every-man now has abilities beyond human which are controlled by his new friend ‘Stem’. Once he gives him permission to take over……entertaining carnage ensues!

 

The Characters

Although mostly a solo film focusing on our ordinary hero, the film does take some time to build up our backstory and make us care about what drives our protagonist. Well acted throughout, ‘Logan Marshall-Green’ shines and rarely leaves us bored which is no easy feat considering the camera is pretty much on him from start to finish. His wife (Melanie Vallejo) and mother (Linda Cropper) give decent performances too and help to flesh out our main character showing his softer side and giving him his motivation.

 

The Plot

Yes it’s totally bonkers and I love it. ‘Stem’ who becomes a voice is his head, takes over with his permission with hilarious and brutally violent consequences. The selling point is really the fantastic camera work and reactions of our main hero. He looks aghast as his limbs dole out some savage beatings and the way the camera spins with the action is something quite unique. It gives the action a fresh feel that I’m sure plenty of films to come will copy.

 

The Action

As mentioned, the action is shot superbly. This is by no means a big budget film but it never feels cheap. The action is frenetic and gory. There is real weight to the choreography and the rolling camera helps to keep scenes blistering along. They cleverly build up to the action with the viewer waiting eagerly for ‘Stem’ to take over and each time it happened, I couldn’t help but smile knowing what was about to come. The set ups and the pay offs are very well balanced and expertly timed.

 

The End?

This is no Oscar winner and even though the premise is clever and the action is fresh, the plot points are very very predictable. There is nothing here that will catch you out and the twists if you could call them that, were easy to guess. That said, it didn’t really matter. This was a solid sci-fi action film and even if it was predictable, it felt entertaining throughout.

The end sequence felt a little abrupt but satisfying none the less. It also leaves room for a sequel which is nice!

 

Overall

I loved this movie! It gave us a silly excuse for over the top fight scenes, it gave us crazy futuristic sci-fi tech, it gave us an impressive actor to watch out for in the future in ‘Logan Marshall-Green’ and most importantly……it was fun! I look forward to what might come next.

Enjoy with a beer or two and a few friends!

What did you think? Is there room for good low budget flicks? Are we too used to Marvel sized budget movies? Let me know in the comments below.

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