Note: All Amazon and Apple TV links on this post are affiliate links. If you buy anything on Amazon or Apple TV through the links on this post (not just items from this post), Amazon and/or Apple will pay me some coffee money (at no extra cost to you), which I promise to drink while creating more helpful content like this. All opinions on this site remain my own.
When a brutal mugging leaves Grey Trace paralyzed and his wife dead, Grey’s world is crushed. However, his luck changes when a billionaire inventor offers him an experimental cure in the form of a body implant called STEM. STEM not only returns Grey to his feet but also upgrades him with superhuman strength and agility, which he then uses to seek out the men that destroyed his life.
Upgrade does a beautiful job of turning a simple story of loss and revenge into a twisted science fiction film. The movie gives a perfect depiction of a broken man whose world is flipped on its head by what seems like a random act of violence.
After Receiving the implant, Grey wastes no time hunting down the men who killed his wife. And though some of his earlier decisions were infuriating, on getting to the film’s end, so many things fell into place. (DON’T WORRY NO SPOILERS HERE)
However, the real fun begins when (at various points in the film), STEM takes over Grey’s body. And we get to see the cybernetic duo display insane moves.
But it’s Logan Marshall Green’s (Grey) horrified facial expressions during these action scenes, that sold the intensity of the situation. Seeing pure fear and disgust on the face of a man about to rip a person’s face in half, was both fun and amazing.
While Upgrade focuses on Grey’s journey for revenge through STEM’s help. Other characters such as Fisk and Detective Cortez end up starved of attention.
This becomes a more significant problem when the Movie tries to expand on these characters, without informing the audience about their motivations.
For instance, Fisk’s disgust for non-upgraded humans seems to appear out of nowhere. And at no point is Detective Cortez’s interest in Grey’s case ever explained. Even Asha (Grey’s Wife) has little development. And while this didn’t kill the movie, it did make any scene without Grey less exciting.
Upgrade takes a different approach to an old storyline and creates an exciting and unexplored world. This coupled with a clever twist and well-captured action scenes, make Upgrade worth a watch.