Set in the near-future, technology controls nearly all aspects of life. But when Grey, a self-identified technophobe, has his world turned upside down, his only hope for revenge is an experimental computer chip implant called Stem.
Directed by: Leigh Whannell
. Starring: Logan Marshall-Green
, Melanie Vallejo
, Steve Danielsen
, Abby Craden
, Harrison Gilbertson
, Benedict Hardie
, Richard Cawthorne
, Christopher Kirby
, Richard Anastasios
, Kenny Low
, Linda Cropper
, Betty Gabriel
, Emily Havea
. Music by: Jed Palmer
Robbie K back with yet another review this time on a movie that looks to be interesting to say the least. With one of the weaker advertising campaigns to hit in a while, this movie didn't reveal much in regards to its contents, so I went in wondering what was in store. After seeing it, yours truly has plenty of things to report his thoughts as I review:
Director: Leigh Whannell Writer: Leigh Whannell Stars: Logan Marshall-Green, Richard Anastasios, Rosco Campbell
Sci-Fi Plot: The movie genre says ActionComedyHorror, but this reviewer felt it was more a science fiction piece than anything else. The piece is a culmination of various Sci-Fi hits that include things like: The Fugitive, Bladerunner, Matrix, and even HardCore Henry. Such a ragtag collection really worked in this case, and brought with it an engaging story that addresses the issues of technology and how the world can potentially abuse them. It's a thrilling adventure that for the most part kept my attention, and helped dive deeper down the rabbit hole. Decent Character Development: You may remember the movie of Her where man and machine entered a complex relationship that was odd and inappropriate. Upgrade takes that foundation and updates it to something much better, creating an interface between man and machine that isn't love, but practically survival. While this relationship is multi-faceted, I was impressed with the amount of development both key characters got. STEM in particular had loads of development, despite only being a disembodied voice that was set for survival. As the movie progresses, the level of complexity between the two further expands, and creates one of the more engaging relationships I've seen in a while. Decent Editing: For a movie with a complex tale and a lot of pathways to connect, it surprisingly felt complete in such a short time limit. At around 90 minutes, Upgrade meets all its goals of action, storytelling, and motif exploring and keeping most of the footage tight and relevant to the film. This weekend is surprisingly meeting this goal, and I'm thrilled to see this art hasn't been completely lost. Action Scene: For an action genre tag, Upgrade manages to accomplish this goal quite well and bring about one of the more intense scenes I have experienced in a long time. Grey and his cyber buddy go through the motions from standard fist fight to kung fu fury and given the rock music infusion with a very active camera, the scenes only get more exciting. Sure, some of the action scenes were simplistic stunts given other examples, but what's impressive is that the action is always pertinent to the film. In addition, the style of fighting maintains the dark edge of the movie, leading to further amplification of the suspense and thrills this movie brings. Realism: Sci-Fi often gets a bad rap for being unbelievable, but Upgraded is one of those films that will shatter that fantasy glass ceiling. Set in the not so far future, the movie manages to bring the future technology to the "modern" world, skipping the grandiose futuristic cities and creatures, for a much more grounded approach. As such, the added realism, brings the horror element out and is scarier than what most horror movies can cook up. DISLIKES:
Character underutilization: The movie relies a lot on two characters to make up the story, the secondary characters are semi important, but most of them get the shaft. I would have liked better integration of these characters, especially the cop, who could have opened up more of the movie's edge had she been given the chance. Perhaps future installment can help out with this, but for this movie...it was okay. Gorey At Times: There are some things one does not like to see and some of the finishing moves in this movie are examples of this. Upgraded doesn't go overboard in bloody chaos, but it also is not afraid to show off the savagery of enhanced biomechanics. Those of the faint of heart or squeamish are now warned, because some members of the cast will have some heavy hitting injuries to deal with in the 90 minutes. Rushed Ending: The movie had so much going for it, but the ending while complete, dark, and fitting, seemed a bit rushed to get there. Sure, much of the rabbit hole was predictable to me, with only a slight layer escaping my theories, but when it came to boil things move a lot faster than they had. I had hoped for a little more engagement, a little more obstruction, and definitely a full-on finish instead of a cliffhanger to indicate a potential series to come. Breaking the pace, I had started to thoroughly enjoy so late in the game wasn't my favorite decision of this movie. THE VERDICT:.
Review by rgkarim from the Internet Movie Database.