HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Cannibal Club, The
Grasshopper, The
Searching
Human Desire
Climax
Stiff Upper Lips
American Animals
Outlaws
Venom
World on a Wire
Velvet Buzzsaw
Picnic
Dick Dickman, PI
Hunter Killer
30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock, The
Race for the Yankee Zephyr
Boys in the Band, The
Brainscan
T-Men
Blame
Upgrade
Evening with Beverly Luff Linn, An
Fear No Evil
One Cut of the Dead
Rosa Luxemburg
Disobedience
On the Job
Monsters and Men
Survival Run
Crucible of the Vampire
   
 
Newest Articles
All's Welles That Ends Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 1 on DVD
Shut It! The Sweeney Double Bill: Two Blu-rays from Network
Network Sitcom Movie Double Bill: Till Death Us Do Part and Man About the House on Blu-ray
No, THIS Must Be the Place: True Stories on Blu-ray
Alf Garnett's Life After Death: Till Death... and The Thoughts of Chairman Alf on DVD
Balance of Power: Harold Pinter at the BBC on DVD
Strange Days 2: The Second Science Fiction Weirdness Wave
Strange Days: When Science Fiction Went Weird
Ha Ha Haaargh: Interview With Camp Death III in 2D! Director Matt Frame
Phone Freak: When a Stranger Calls on Blu-ray
A Name to Conjure With: David Nixon's Magic Box on DVD
Which 1950s Sci-Fi was Scariest? Invaders from Mars vs The Blob
The Empire Strikes Back: Khartoum vs Carry On Up the Khyber
Stan and Ollie's Final Folly: Atoll K on Blu-ray
The Big Grapple: Escape from New York and Its Influence
   
 
  Upgrade Body BuilderBuy this film here.
Year: 2018
Director: Leigh Whannell
Stars: Logan Marshall-Green, Melanie Vallejo, Betty Gabriel, Harrison Gilbertson, Benedict Hardie, Simon Maiden, Steve Danielsen, Christopher Kirby, Linda Cropper, Clayton Jacobson, Kai Bradley, Richard Cawthorne, Richard Anastasios, Ming-Zhu Hii, Kenny Low
Genre: Horror, Action, Science Fiction
Rating:  8 (from 1 vote)
Review: It's safe to say Grey Trace (Logan Marshall-Green) is no fan of technology, or at least he's no fan of technology from after the twentieth century, as his raison d'etre is to restore old cars to their former glory in his capacity as a mechanic - he will listen to his vinyl blues records as he does so, just to envelop himself in that retro vibe. But the world has moved on from those days, as it is now the future where everyone else has a mobile phone, or a driverless car, or some other piece of kit to make life that bit easier for them. Grey's wife Asha (Melanie Vallejo) gently chides him for his discomfort with the up to date, but his misgivings are about to be proven entirely justified...

Australian Leigh Whannell returned to his homeland to write and direct this nifty little science fiction low budgeter, his experience on bigger projects seeing him in good stead when it came to making a little go a long way: this served up glossy, witty and propulsive entertainment in a way that the low budget auteurs of the past and present would look upon with envious eyes. He was dealing with exploitation movies, sure, but as Roger Corman could tell you, if you deliver on the saleable elements, in this case a hefty dose of gruesome violence, then you can smuggle in all sorts of messages and observations; Whannell here apparently shared the misgivings of his protagonist.

But technophobic science fiction went back to The Terminator, Westworld, even The Twonky, so Upgrade needed something to stand out from the crowd, especially at a time when the millennials could not envisage a day without their phones or tablets being turned on. Quite how much of yourself you should share with the tech you have, and how vulnerable giving so much of your life away to it, was the issue here, as this was released at a time when the billions of users of the internet were realising they were being transformed into commodities simply by logging onto social media run by corporations getting unimaginably wealthy off those users they exploited.

If you were fine with this betrayal of trust, with becoming the product as you were directed to buy and invest as consumerism ran rampant and even the "experiences" you were valuing over your worldly goods were merely another channel to make the corporations even richer, then being played for a sucker wouldn't bother you too much and Upgrade would not come across as anything aside from a violent sci-fi action flick of which there were an abundance. But should you ever have had a legitimate concern over who can see your supposedly private material, then the way Grey was taken over by his gadgets, or one gadget in particular, may well strike a chord. Yes, the appearance of the tech here was somewhat hokey, but that was part of the charm, disarming you until you thought "Waaaait a minute..."

What happens is that Grey and Asha are being driven home one night from their well-off scientist benefactor Eron Keen (Harrison Gilbertson) when the unthinkable happens, their driverless car malfunctions and they end up crashing in one of the rougher areas of the city. No sooner have they been dragged from the wreckage than they are robbed and shot, fatally in Asha's case, and Grey is paralysed from the neck down. Understandably, he is miserable and the only thing keeping him going is the thought of bringing the gang who murdered his spouse to justice, but then Keen offers a suggestion: he is aware his friend does not like technology, but he has an implant he can place on his spine so Grey could walk again. Desperate, he accepts, and the effects are miraculous, yet as he turns detective the implant, called Stem, proves more domineering than he anticipated - but mightily useful in his quest, not to say defending himself as excessively as possible. Shot innovatively, Upgrade was a satisfying four course meal at a bargain price, plenty to chew over but exciting and suspenseful too, with a real crusher of an ending. Music by Jed Palmer.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 52 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
George White
Enoch Sneed
Stately Wayne Manor
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
   

 

Last Updated: