Upgrade (2018) Review



Upgrade isn’t quite as action-packed as it maybe could be but the fight scenes are ingenious, it’s beautifully shot and the story will keep you engaged throughout.

Plot: After his wife is killed during a brutal mugging that also leaves him paralyzed, Grey Trace (Logan Marshall-Green, SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING, PROMETHEUS) is approached by a billionaire inventor with an experimental cure that will ‘upgrade’ his body. The cure–an Artificial Intelligence implant called STEM–gives Grey physical abilities beyond anything experienced, and the ability to relentlessly claim vengeance against those who murdered his wife and left him for dead.

Review: Upgrade has finally been released in Canada so I had to see it ASAP as it’s been one of my most anticipated movies of this year; did it live up to those lofty expectations? For the most part, yes. It is certainly one of the most entertaining action moves of the year with some quality kills but it’s not quite as action-packed as I would have liked. It takes a little while for things to kick into gear but at no point is it ever boring.

Logan Marshall-Green is fantastic as Grey, a man left paralyzed after a mugging where his wife is killed. When Grey is offered an AI implant called STEM his life is transformed as he has an all new particular set of skills which will help him track down and kill the men who murdered his wife… but is there more to STEM than meets the eye? 

Upgrade is beautifully shot with a wonderful use of colours demonstrating the light and dark sides of Grey; as other reviews have said it does feel like classic Verhoeven with some cheeky black humour and the violence is pure cartoon stuff so it’s never particularly disturbing.

I had an idea in my head about where the story was going and who was responsible for Grey’s wife’s death but it pleasingly didn’t go as expected and was definitely open for a sequel.

The action scenes and fights are superlative and manage to give us something unique that we haven’t seen before; Marshall-Green fights like he is genuinely being controlled by someone else and that must have been tough to learn. It could have looked silly but instead it was 100% badass and the audience was cheering at various points. I see this becoming a cult classic and watching it at midnight with like-minded fans would be an absolute riot.

Upgrade successfully mixes genres with elements of horror, sci-fi and action with a cool music score too which will be making its way to my iPod this evening.

Overall, Upgrade is a massively entertaining sci-fi actioner with Logan Marshall-Green on career best form and some quality scenes of graphic (but cartoony) violence.