Starring: Logan Marshall-Green, Richard Anastasios, Rosco Campbell, Betty Gabriel, Harrison Gilbertson
Directed by: Leigh Whannell
Written by: Leigh Whannell
Rating: R Running Time: 1 hr 35 min.
My 2 Cents:
After his wife is killed during a brutal mugging that also leaves him paralyzed, technophobe Grey Trace (Logan Marshall Green) is approached by an eccentric billionaire inventor with an experimental cure that will “upgrade” his body.
This is the little b-movie that could. A gritty little actioner that looks and sounds a lot more expensive than its reported three to five-million-dollar budget. It’s a revenge fantasy with ‘Black Mirror’ smarts. A movie that’ll have you reminiscing about your favorite violent science fiction films of the 80’s (Robocop, Terminator) while its premise delivers uniquely staged action and humor.
Seriously folks, if you enjoyed Robocop and The Terminator, Upgrade is the film for you. It’s just the right blend of high-concept sci-fi silliness and earnest character drama. Logan Marshall-Green is great in the lead, and his Grey Trace is every bit the ‘good cop’ turned cyborg or future resistance warrior taking on the machines!
On the down side, it is a bit rough around the edges. Most of the supporting characters in this film are two-dimensional, and the dialogue here and there is a little goofy. Performances from most of the cast are serviceable, but Harrison Gilbertson’s weirdo genius inventor, Eron (no, not Elon) was a little too reminiscent of David Bowie in, The Man Who Fell to Earth, for my taste.
Writer/director Leigh Whannell builds an intriguing world loaded with great ideas. Upgrade has a brilliantly constructed story with lots of great twists, but I feel there’s more to explore here. If Upgrade finds and audience (and I really hope it does) I’d love to see this developed further.