Upgrade Movie Review
Entertaining for what it is—a B-grade sci-fi thriller with limited upside—Upgrade is a satisfyingly fun jaunt without much staying power. Seriously, a week later, I had almost forgotten I’d watched it.
In Upgrade, Logan Marshall-Green plays a man who finds himself paralyzed after he and his wife are brutally attacked. He is implanted with a cutting-edge device that allows him to not only walk again but hunt down those responsible with computerized accuracy and lethality.
Basically, he’s Robocop without the cool factor or world building or interesting villains.
Writer/director Leigh Whannell gives audiences essentially what he’s been offering up in the horror genre ever since he broke onto the scene as the writer of Saw: a somewhat entertaining story heightened by a cool concept yet limited by questionable writing (note: the Saw movies were terrible, but in theory the original concept was not). His only other directorial credit is 2015’s Insidious 3—a big step down from its predecessors—and Upgrade establishes that he still has a way to go to polish his craft.
Still, Upgrade’s concept is fun enough that it is able to overcome its shortcomings, at least for a single viewing. It’s hard to picture anyone remembering this movie a year from now—hell, it came out this year and I guarantee most people don’t even know it exists—but in the moment, if you’re just looking for mindless entertainment, you could do worse.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.