Australasian Cinema > films >
Upgrade (Leigh Whannell, 2018) wr. Leigh Whannell, dp Stefan Duscio; Richard Anastasios, Rosco Campbell, Richard Cawthorne, Linda Cropper; scifi
After his wife is killed during a brutal mugging that also leaves him paralysed, Grey Trace 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.
There are a number of strong ideas and even a few neat fight scenes in Upgrade in search of a more coherent, enjoyable movie. Whannell can’t master the pacing of it, the low budget shows (a rarity for Blum), and the movie can’t settle on a tone. At times, it’s a broad B-movie with veins of dark humor, but then it veers to emotional trauma, and, finally, of course, to a cautionary tale about technological reliance. Brian Tallerico.
Upgrade is a veritable cornucopia of genre thrills and spills, machine-tooled for fans of action-packed sci-fi. Influences and inspirations are strewn all over the place – from Cronenbergian body horror to Verhoevenian schlock to a dank Ridley Scott or Denis Villeneuve “world gone wrong” aesthetic, infused with a scuzzy grindhouse vibe. The Guardian.
Garry Gillard | New: 16 August, 2018 | Now: 15 October, 2020