knjr’s review published on Letterboxd:
I am completely in love with this movie. An instant classic that will be viewed in 20 years time in our implanted eye microchip with a cinema plugin like a romantic hypothesis on the evolution of technology.
In Upgrade, Grey (who looks like an Ashton Kutcher and Tom Hardy combination) is a simple man in a very not-simple world. He builds cars that do not have AI in them (gasps) and gets his hand dirty when everybody else just have a modern times genie that completes tasks by voice command. After being attacked and left a quadriplegic, he gets an AI implant that acts as a second brain. He is immediately upgraded.
This movie is gorgeous. The future isn't full of neon lights and overly large billboards, but the shiny lights offer a sense of futurism in a more modest way. It also have different poles of attraction. It is a tale of man using the thing he hates to avenge what he loves. It explores the repercussions of limitless A.I. and how it might impact society. It is a revenge story about a man hellbent on a mission to kill they ones that took his wife away, while trying to roam through a life that he doesn't like. The action scenes are fucking eye candy. These tracking shots and the pure robotic motion during the fights made me feel a tingle in my brain. The performances are effortlessly adequate with Logan Marshall-Green looking both cool, badass and emotionally devastated when needed.
Upgrade is a contemporary technopunk flick, with a lot of gore and violence to satisfy everyone while also staying smart and mysterious enough to keep the interest high throughout. I love it.