Upgrade

Upgrade

Upgrade’s most striking feature is also its first: rather than run a cavalcade of obscure production company logos, the filmmakers announce their financial partners via an AI voice without any accompanying visuals. Aside from being extremely cool — and to my knowledge, completely original — it clearly illustrates the fear of technology operating autonomously; out of your hands, but still for your enjoyment. What follows is a vital corrective to the dour state of American action movies, RoboCop’s winking carnage and John Wick world-building rolled into a low-budget joint. Sure, you could ask more of Leigh Whannell’s writing, which is characteristically devoid of anything that would make a normal person laugh. But he keeps genre traditions alive, and directs the shit out of this to boot. And who is this Benedict Hardie guy? Great heavy.

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