Upgrade ★★★★½

A stylish, unbelievably tense and ludicrously brutal thriller, Leigh Whannell's film Upgrade is a breath of fresh air in a subgenre that's become increasingly filled with John Wick clones.

Following a brisk first act which climaxes with our protagonist paralyzed and traumatized, this revenge thriller begins to take its own form as the cyberpunk influences of the film crystallize in the form of a microchip that allows Logan Marshall-Green's Grey to begin to enact his vengeance-- with plenty of twists along the way.

The films many, incredibly well choreographed action sequences are the clear standout here, as the audience witnesses Grey's augmented abilities through clever editing, insane body tracking shots, and shocking escalations of violence. While the scriptwriting isn't nearly as exceptional, it also doesn't truly need to be-- the story may not reinvent the wheel, but it absolutely knows its purpose and serves more than well enough.

Genre fans expecting to find a new Blade Runner may be somewhat disappointed, but what results is great in its own right, and probably the closest we'll ever come to seeing Deus Ex translated to film.

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