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Upgrade (2018)

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  • Upgrade (2018)

    Title Upgrade
    Year 2018
    Rated R
    Released 01 Jun 2018
    Runtime 100 min
    Director Leigh Whannell
    Writer Leigh Whannell
    Actors Logan Marshall-Green, Melanie Vallejo, Steve Danielsen, Abby Craden
    Plot 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.
    Language English
    Country Australia
    Awards N/A
    Production Blumhouse Productions
    Website N/A
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    Directed and written by Leigh Whannell (writer of Saw and Insidious) and starring Logan Marshall-Green from TV's Quarry (probably better known as the dumb, asshole boyfriend "scientist" in Prometheus), this is like an amalgamation of elements from Robocop, Venom, and Ex Machina. The first time I saw the trailer, I thought Marshall-Green was Tom Hardy and figured it was first look at the upcoming Venom movie. Reading the synopsis or seeing the trailer clues you in that a man has a symbiotic relationship with another intelligence and hears a voice in his head that he struggles to control. The strange near-future setting borders on science fiction absurdity and real life foreshadowing such as the computer enhanced humans and the self-driving cars.

    Did I mention it's a revenge flick? It's that too. Not much gun play, but plenty of hand to hand combat. However, there's a slight variation. The lead character is controlled by A.I. Because of this, he moves in a robotic fashion which Marshall-Green pulls off with such fantastic grace in his performance. There's more to notice on a second viewing when you pay close attention to his more human movements as it's those that stand out significantly and with purpose.

    If you're familiar with writer Leigh Whannell's work, then you have an idea of what kind of ending to expect. In his usual fashion, SPOILERthe bad guy ultimately wins in a final twist. I can understand the view that this ends the movie on a bleak note, but make no mistake, this is already a depressing movie. It's why I feel the ending works on a thematic level in addition to the film's argument about humanity versus technology. In any case, there is a brief nod that perhaps the finale isn't a total definite loss for the hero.

    It's not shy about reveling in violence to the point that it's over-the-top fun, but those moments are spread out among story taken seriously about loss, vengeance, and the dangers of depending on technology.
    People hyping up latest comic book movie to be the GOAT and I'm like "psshh, you guys must not have seen Bigfoot rip off a man's dick before in 1980's Night of the Demon."
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