“… so fucking good.”
Yesterday I watched Upgrade and it was exactly what I needed right now. Upgrade is a movie about Grey, a man who watches his wife die in an attack that leaves him paralyzed from the neck down. After dealing with the police he is approached by a technology giant with an experimental chip that will grant him the use of his limbs, as well as the revenge he seeks.
Upgrade was so fucking good. The movie harkens back to old action movies of the 80’s with the barebones plot and the self-aware dialogue, and it was so much fun because of it. I will admit that there was a point where the dialogue became a bit too much for me, but I absolutely adored how balls to the wall this movie was in terms of action. It seemed like there was barely a moment to catch your breath before you were on the edge of your seat again.
One thing that I particularly loved about Upgrade was the world building. With sci-fi movies, it is a personal love of mine when they pay no attention to the sci-fi elements. It makes the world feel more real if every character is just used to the technology; it just blends into the background. Upgrade did that perfectly. The sound design in particular did a lot to help the world building of this movie in that it made the world feel alive. During every scene there were what I can only describe as “future sounds” coming from outside and it truly felt like Upgrade was taking place in a real world.
The direction in Upgrade was also tremendous in the way that it blended natural and mechanical movement, much like the plot of the movie. The fight scenes in particular were super intense with the camera spinning and turning to match the wonderful fight coordination that we were seeing. And it continued even in between the fights with the direction taking interesting paths like motion tracking or point of view shots. It really did its best to highlight Logan Marshall-Green’s amazing performance as Grey where he conveyed so much emotion while still acting robotic.
Overall Upgrade was a tremendous action movie, and a pretty decent thriller. It was full of creative direction, awesome world-building, and writing and performances that move the film along at a lighting pace.
I give Upgrade an A