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Film Information

Plot: To avenge the murder of his wife a man will undergo augmented body improvements that could hold the key to everything.
Release Date: 24th December 2018
Format: DVD
Director(s): Leigh Whannell
Cast: Logan Marshall-Green, Rosco Campbell, Richard Cawthorne, Michael M. Foster, Betty Gabriel and Harrison Gilbertson
BBFC Certificate: 15
Running Time: 1hr 35 mins
Review By: Alex Moss
Genre: , ,
Film Rating
3/ 5


Bottom Line

A fun premise, some best of the year action sequences but ultimately this Upgrade never quite delivers the killer punch.

Posted January 7, 2019 by

Film Review

Go and watch the trailer for Upgrade and then try to act that you are not stupidly excited to see the end product. From its stunning action sequences to its tongue-in-cheek humour Upgrade should be a B-Movie that breaks free of its relatively low-budget ideals to be something altogether stupidly slick and entertaining.

In the not too distant future technology seemingly runs everything. But Grey (Logan Marshall-Green) is one of those guys that prefers to do things the old fashioned way and spends his time fixing up old cars that, shock-horror, require an actual human driver rather than artificial intelligence. But when his wife is killed and Grey is left a quadriplegic everything changes. Gifted an experimental piece of tech known as Stem (voiced brilliantly by Simon Maiden) Grey is able to not only walk but fight, run, punch and do pretty much anything he wants to devastating effect. But at what cost? With Stem helping him Grey sets out to discover who killed his wife and uncovers a much more terrifying conspiracy.

There are moments in Upgrade that will have you beaming with the sheer joy of over-the-top action brilliance. There are sequences and set-pieces to rival anything John Woo or The Matrix ever dared dream of. Furthermore, just to really whet the appetite, it’s never shy in embracing the violence and gore that is synonymous with say a Paul Verhoeven film such as Robocop or Total Recall.

Director Leigh Whannell has taken a Twilight Zone premise and made it something bigger, brasher and more ridiculous than anything even a Black Mirror could conjure. Whannell’s direction is effortless, utilising incredible techniques that allow us to be glued to Grey as he flings around this world as everything else flips, twists and revolves around us. It will make you long for a Stem of your own, if there’s a promise it can prevent motion sickness.

But the problem is this Upgrade has serious bugs to report. As outrageously fun as the action is it’s also too few and far between. Once Grey has his Stem powers we want to see more of them, we want to see him bickering with this disembodied voice and embracing the madness of it all. Instead, we get bogged down in a plot about a conspiracy you really don’t care about. The ultimate betrayal is, at times, we get an almost buddy comedy but too soon this is dismissed in favour of something darker and altogether less interesting.

A fun premise, some best of the year action sequences but ultimately this Upgrade never quite delivers the killer punch.

Alex Moss Editor

Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email:


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