In the near future, Grey (Logan Marshall-Green) is left a quadriplegic after a carjacking in which his wife is killed, leading him to become a junkie. Then semi-mad computer genius Eron Keen (Harrison Gilbertson) offers to implant a computer chip in Grey’s spine that will allow him to walk again. Grey accepts, and before you can say, “I know where this is going,” the chip is letting Grey know it can help him avenge his wife’s death if Grey gives it permission. Cue the killin’. What Upgrade lacks in originality—you’ll spot plot points cribbed from The Terminator, Robocop, Brazil and Colossus: The Forbin Project—it makes up for in nifty fight scenes that culminate in super-nasty, sometimes nauseating violence; writer/Director Leigh Whannell did create Saw, after all. It also has some sharp visual tricks up its sleeve to alleviate feelings of déjà vu and help you forget Marshall-Green is a poor man’s Tom Hardy (and Gilbertson a poor man’s Dane DeHaan). Betty Gabriel is excellent in a too-small role as a smart cop. And that ending: Does it work for you? It did for me.
Director: Leigh Whannell
Producer: Jason Blum, Kylie Du Fresne, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Rosemary Blight and Ben Grant
Cast: Logan Marshall-Green, Betty Gabriel, Harrison Gilbertson, Christopher Kirby, Simon Maiden, Benedict Hardie, Melanie Vallejo, Richard Cawthorne, Clayton Jacobson, Sachin Joab, Michael Foster and Linda Cropper