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Review Upgrade (2018): Generic, predictable and ultimately disappointing!

genre: action, horror, science fiction

Upon viewing the trailer I got the impression Upgrade was going to be like John Wick with horror elements. It looked promising. 

Unfortunately Upgrade is far removed from the action or horror genre. It mostly is a science fiction film where we supposedly are to think about A.I. and the way it's implemented in this world. A possible and close future where houses and cars talk to you and almost do everything for you that could be considered a chore. Main character Grey Trace (Logan Marshall-Green) is not a big fan of most technological developments but no specific reason is given. It would have been nice had they mentioned that like many nowadays he has a healthy dose of paranoia against computers taking over. Convenience is nice but it also makes people lazy and careless. Should we really surrender and let the machines take control of everything? In this world most people seem to have very little problems in doing so. Except Grey. Until a catastrophic event puts everything upside down. His wife gets murdered and he himself has become paralyzed. He doesn't want to live any more. Then he gets offered an opportunity to make him walk again. But more importantly he is put on the track of the villains who caused his misery. Revenge time. 

What should have been a bloody and gory feast is nothing more than a few action scenes where one or two body parts get blown off. The ones shown in the trailer. The few action scenes are over before you know it. They do have some impact as it's demonstrated what STEM (the installed A.I. chip) is capable of. Other than that it's nothing special. Of course it's pretty horrific to have an A.I. inside you who is able to control your every move. Apparently it's not capable of reading your thoughts. Small comfort I guess. STEM aids Grey whenever and wherever Grey has doubts or qualms to perform the required actions. Almost as if Grey isn't hell bent on bringing the killers to justice. Still he goes along with it for the most part since it was the one thing that motivated to stay alive. Or at least that is what we are led to believe. 

The acting is good. Especially by Logan Marshall-Green. He might look a lot like Tom Hardy but he very much does his own thing. You believe him as the grieving widower. If they would have focused on his grief and how he would cope in this world he has very little connection with I think I would have liked the story a whole lot better. It seemed to me that his wife was the one who kept him up to date on everything technological. And maybe it would have been nice to have witnessed failure. Even if you were capable of implanting a chip that enables you to walk would it really function right from the start? Come on now. Everybody familiar with current tech knows that bugs and errors are pretty common. 

I won't go into the so called surprising twist and turns since they aren't surprising one bit. Actually it's exactly what you would expect from a film concerning A.I. only dumbed down beyond belief. Upgrade never provokes thought on the topic. How can it if it barely makes characters question themselves or their actions? I do have to state that if you didn't see the twist coming then you lack common sense or basic film knowledge. Am I being too harsh here? Well, I have read reviews and comments on Upgrade where they were praising the hell out of it. Half of them claim how much fun it is and the other half claim how it provoked thoughts. I guess some are really easily entertained. This coming from someone who finds joy in the worst of B movies. But the latter should be embarrassed. Somehow I keep having the hope Idiocracy doesn't become real but it's here in full effect. God save us all!

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