Review – Upgrade (2018)
Directed by: Leigh Whannell
Written by: Leigh Whannell
Produced by: Blumhouse Productions
Starring: Logan Marshall-Green, Michael M. Foster & Betty Gabriel
Release Date: August 31st 2018 (UK)
Prior to the release of Upgrade, I wondered what Leigh Whannell could do out with the Horror genre. He is perhaps best known for writing the first 3 Saw movies, (AKA the good ones,) and the Insidious trilogy. I think it is fair to say that he has proved himself as a titan in that genre at this point. However, I always wondered what it would be like to see him expand to another style. In a similar way that we saw James Wan do in the last decade.
Well this is it.
Upgrade is a Sci-Fi movie that doesn’t follow the most unique concept in the genre, but does it in such a fresh and fun way that it works incredibly well. Upgrade also does a really good job at making you feel some genuine emotions of sadness and pity, something that I really didn’t expect to get from a movie like this. When it comes to the action and violence in the movie, Upgrade embraces it’s B-movie inspiration and gives us some awesome grisly practical effects along with some cool action choreography to go with it.
There are some elements to the plot that may seem bizarre to those not familiar with the more campy side of this genre. The movie also does slightly feel like a video game at times. However, I don’t feel that this is to the movie’s detriment and instead, actually adds to the fun ride that the film is taking you on.
I also like the way that the movie ends. Although the reveal of who the big bad was going to be is seen coming from a mile away, what happens afterward was really surprising and pretty bold and risky. It seems like the film is going one direction. A direction that would have been a really poor, cliché ending for a movie like this. Then it goes in totally the opposite direction. Expectations are subverted and the film ends on a genuinely unexpected note. Whether you like the ending or not, the guts that it took to pull it off deserves some praise.
Overall, Upgrade is a really fun watch. It has its high octane action sequences as advertised in the trailer. However, it also has some surprisingly tender, heartfelt moments to go along with all of the stunts and gore. It is definitely worth a watch if you are a sci-fi fan looking for a thrilling, bloody good time.
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