Upgrade ★★★★

Leigh Whannell’s gory, violent science-fiction thriller in which a man paralysed in an attack gets back the use of his limbs… and so much more, from a microchip implant.

From the director of Insidious comes Upgrade, a science-fiction thriller which concentrates on Grey (Logan Marshall-Green), a technophobe, who suffers immobilisation and loses his wife in the middle of an assault. But when a tycoon hands him a chip in his body that gets back his movement, he sets out to get revenge.

Logan Marshall-Green gives a very good performance in his role as Grey, the man who is determined to make the use of the opportunity he has been gifted with and is also resolute to get his vengeance. He suits his role well.

Elsewhere, Simon Maiden is fine as the voice of STEM, while Betty Gabriel is respectable as the Detective Cortez and Harrison Gilbertson is satisfactory as Eron Keen, Grey’s client.

The direction from Whannell is very good because he allows the facial expressions to be seen to a strong effect throughout, while also keeping a mixed atmosphere happening as well.

The script is written to a decent standard by the director as he makes the movie good to follow and creates some humour too, meaning the movie never takes itself too seriously. But even when the movie isn’t funny, you can still understand what is happening, because the narrative is definitely there from beginning to end.

The camera, editing and visual effects stand out best in terms of the technical aspects, because it makes good use of the locations and also captures the tense and funny moments well, which get the edge-of-the-seat status; the film is edited to a very decent effect; the visual effects dazzle whenever they appear on screen.

Some of the violence is disturbing in places, but it is part of the story, so it has to be included, otherwise this film wouldn’t make sense.

Overall, it’s not an easy watch at times, but Upgrade is a very decent science-fiction action thriller, due to the very good performance in particular from Logan Marshall-Green, along with the direction, script, mixed atmosphere and technical aspects.

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