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.
The latest film to come from the prolific Blumhouse Productions is a terrific science fiction thriller called ‘Upgrade’, starring Logan Marshall-Green as a quadriplegic who regains control of his body through the insertion of an innovative surgical implant into his body. It’s a pulpy thriller that wraps a ‘Death Wish’ style revenge thriller in a science fiction setting and I enjoyed the hell out of it.
The film is centred on Grey Trace (Marshall-Green), a mechanic in a near-future world who has his life turned upside down when the self driving car taking him and his wife (Melanie Vallejo) home from a friend’s house malfunctions, leaving them at the mercy of a group of men who arrive shortly after. Understandably, this event causes Grey to sink into an intense depression and after a failed suicide attempt, he’s given a second chance at life by a tech innovator called Eron (Harrison Gilbertson) who wants Grey to be his guinea pig for his new technology called STEM. The narrative really kicks off from here as Grey gets used to being able to fully function again and he starts to track down the people responsible for his situation with the help of STEM, who we quickly learn can also talk, take over Grey’s actions and seems entirely self aware.
Logan Marshall-Green is great in the central role and he makes Grey a character worth rooting for, and I thought the film was really well put together with some frenetic action sequences, which feel like something out of a computer game in a good way. It’s got a pulsating score from Jed Palmer that really got my heart thumping and I thought the story played out in an enjoyable way without being too predictable in the direction it ultimately goes in. ‘Upgrade’ is a terrific little science fiction thriller and it’s one of the best films in the genre that I’ve seen this year.
Directed By: Leigh Whannell
Starring: Logan Marshall-Green, Betty Gabriel, Harrison Gilbertson, Melanie Vallejo and Benedict Hardie