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Film Review: Man & Machine Come Together For a Sci-Fi ‘Upgrade’

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CHICAGO – “We can rebuild him, we have the technology…” Those words from the 1970s series “The Six Million Dollar Man” seems more truth than science fiction these days, as breakthroughs in humans plus robotics get ever closer to rebuilding us. This is all explored in the fun and action-oriented film “Upgrade.”

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

Written and directed by Leigh Whannell, who usually writes/directs horror for the Blumhouse Productions (“Insidious”), this contains the twist of sci-fi, as a mysterious tech mogul wants to regenerate human tissue through a computer chip insertion. While similar in story elements from 2016’s “Ex Machina,” the themes are different, as the beneficiary of the upgrade is seeking revenge. There is a lot of wit and symbolic wisdom in the story (the “control” of the victim’s limbs are facilitated by an inner voice), and the fight action combines martial artistry with comic surrealism. This is Whannell’s first non-horror film – although there are horror parts to it – and it bodes well for his future as a creative movie maker.

Grey (Logan Marshall-Green) and Cortez (Betty Gabriel) are in the midst of newly wedded bliss in a future world with tech conveniences, one of them being a constant drone supported eye-in-the-sky for law enforcement. When the couple’s self driving car goes off the grid, it ends up in an attack zone, where Cortez is killed and Grey suffers a spinal cord injury that leaves him paralyzed from the neck down.

But they can rebuild him. An eccentric tech mogul, Eron (Harrison Gilbert), has developed a computer chip that when inserted into the spinal cord can bring function to paralyzed limbs. Grey can not only walk again, but has an “internal voice” computer that can give him super powers on command. He decides to use this opportunity to get revenge on his wife’s killers, but the creator of the chip isn’t on board.

“Upgrade” opens everywhere on June 1st. Featuring Logan Marshall-Green, Betty Gabriel, Harrison Gilbertson, Benedict Hardie, Melanie Vallejo and Christopher Kirby. Written and directed by Leigh Whannell. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Upgrade”

UpG1
Grey (Logan Marshall-Green) Gets Rebuilt in ‘Upgrade’
Photo credit: BH Tilt

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Upgrade”

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