Today: February 28, 2024

Upgrade

THE PRODUCER BEHIND GET OUT AND SPLIT AND THE CO-CREATOR OF SAW AND INSIDIOUS TEAM UP FOR THE ULTIMATE
MAN VS. MACHINE ACTION THRILLER

UPGRADE

AVAILABLE ON DOWNLOAD TO OWN 24 DECEMBER, 2018 BLU-RAYTM AND DVD 7 JANUARY, 2019
FROM UNIVERSAL PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT

Blumhouse creates an all-new intense horror-action film with UPGRADE, arriving on Download to Own on 24 December, 2018 and on Blu-rayTM and DVD on 7 January, 2019, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. After a shocking tragedy leaves a man paralyzed and dispirited an innovative technological opportunity emerges, offering him the ability to restore his mobility and seek revenge. Starring Logan Marshall-Green (Spider-Man: Homecoming, Prometheus), Betty Gabriel (Get Out, The Purge: Election Year) and Harrison Gilbertson (Fallen, Need for Speed), UPGRADE, takes viewers on a wildly thrilling ride through the intriguing world of artificial intelligence.

After his wife is killed during a brutal mugging that also leaves him paralyzed, Grey Trace (Marshall-Green) 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.

Produced by Jason Blum (Get Out, Split) and written, directed, and executive produced by mastermind Leigh Whannell (Saw, Insidious franchise) UPGRADE is energetic and powerful, questioning the nature of human versus computer and keeping audiences captivated from start to finish as Grey’s life is turned upside down in a technology-controlled world.

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Upgrade

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: alex.moss@filmjuice.com

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