If someone was going to make a Robocop remake with Tom Hardy but didn’t have 100 million dollars to make one with Tom Hardy, this would be the best possible outcome that they could hope for. Upgrade is a film that is set in a somewhat futuristic world, a stay at home husband named Grey (Logan Marshall-Green) is involved in an accident that leaves his wife dead and himself paralyzed from the neck down. A socially awkward tech mogul offers Grey an opportunity to regain his body with an experimental computer chip implanted in his spine, what Grey doesn’t know is that the program has a mind of its own and he must fight with his own mind to solve the mystery of his wife’s murder.
Upgrade is a pretty stylish and fun movie, despite the fact it is dealing with some obvious flaws. The plot takes about a good 20 minutes to really get moving so you are treated with a pretty slow build. The acting is pretty rough from certain characters such as Harrison Gilbertson, who looks way too young to be playing his role, but this is a blumhouse film so you have to pick your battles. With that said, there is loads of creative laughs and good action here. Grey’s first encounter with his new found powers is one of the funniest scenes so far this year. Normally I would complain about humor undercutting the scene, but considering you have some brutal violence in the film, the humor works as an equalizer to the brutality.
Rarely do I complain about films being too short but this is a movie that could have done wonders with another 15-20 minutes to explore the world this film is set in. Upgrade has some plot issues from a story that isn’t quite as thought out as it thinks it is but the dark humor and near sadist feel of the fight scenes makes it ultimately a harmless (for the viewer) must see fun experience.