Upgrade ★★½

The not bad but not quite good enough Upgrade features the fairly charismatic Logan Marshall-Green (whose low-budget horror creeper “The Invitation” I do heartily recommend) as a man of the future named Grey Trace whose life is put through the ringer by thugs who paralyze him and murder his wife, and so when after he gets a computer chip inserted into his spine, he is reformed and with Total Upgrade (!) becomes a half human / half machine capable of avenging those who done him wrong.

The new chip – called STEM – has a life of his own and takes over his body when engaged in fist-foot combat. When we get to the first fight, the ninja quick choreography makes for a WOW! moment and I was looking forward to more grindhouse mayhem. But the action, like the rest of the movie, has some perfectly adequate invention but never builds upon it.

The movie as a whole is like “Robocop” (1987) but with far less notes to play.

And I know it’s not a $50 million dollar production, but Upgrade is one of those futuristic visions where there seems to be cutbacks on lighting in every household.

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