Released 06/01/2018                              Rated: R

So we saw this trailer a couple of times before other movies, and each time we were both like “Nah.” “This doesn’t look good.” And if it wasn’t for YouTube film reviewer Chris Stuckmann (I’ve mentioned him before) praising it we more than likely would have passed this one up. Holy crap! This movie is amazing, you guys! On multiple levels!

If you haven’t heard of this one before: Grey barely survives the attack that kills his wife. He’s left as a quadriplegic with a broken will when someone offers him an experimental chip that could give him back the use of his body. Grey agrees to the surgery and goes home only to find out STEM, the chip, can talk to him. After pointing out something on the surveillance footage of the attack, STEM and Grey go after the men who murdered Asha, Grey’s wife.

The camera work on the fight scenes alone makes this movie stand out from the rest. The way the frame tilts with the action is incredible. This technique both embodies and enhances the artificial, robotic feel Whannell was going for. And the choreography for the fight scenes is insane! I don’t know if that was actually Logan Marshall-Green or if he had a stunt double, it sure didn’t look like a double (you know how sometimes you can just tell), but the robotic movement and speed these actors executed was just crazy! We loved every bit of it! http://www.impawards.com/intl/australia/2018/upgrade.html

And there wasn’t an excessive use of jump cuts. They really did a great job. It may not have been John Wick-level action sequences, but it sure as hell wasn’t Taken. Ugh. (Ever since I watched a video comparing the two, I can’t not pay attention to an overly edited action sequence.) Now, some people do die, and each death scene is pretty brutal, but it’s not excessive. They managed to keep it all contained, and I can appreciate that.

And the acting…omg. Watching a broken Grey struggle to deal the loss of his wife, his useless body, and his “search for the off switch” is heartbreaking. The beginning of this film really sells the ending. No spoilers. Everything comes full circle. This ending is great. It’s not typical, it keeps you on your toes, and again, given the beginning, it’s got so much weight to it. It’s a great cap to an awesome film.

One thing this movie doesn’t do is explain…really anything. Not to say this is a bad thing, it’s actually kinda refreshing to not have tons of exposition dumped all over you. We really don’t need any backstory on the characters or the world they live in. They don’t even give us a generalization of the year in which the story takes place. The only thing I would have liked is a bit more information on the company names that cropped up from time to time. Like the company Asha worked for versus the one Eron runs verses the one supplying the tech found in the men Grey’s going after. That is my only request.

So go see this movie! It’s totally worth it. We can’t wait for the home release.

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