Upgrade is a futuristic action thriller with the theme of revenge, in which the main character reveals that he is at the same time the bearer, but also the puppet of artificial intelligence. The idea behind the story is really fascinating and raises various questions. If a person has a computer voice in his head that provides a suggestion and knows that that suggestion is the product of a thought process that is far more complex than his own, do his thoughts have any value? Another important question is whether a person is to blame for the actions that his body performs under the control of artificial intelligence? We will welcome the end of the film with the dilemma of whether Grace is a more advanced man or no longer a man at all.
The author decided to neglect dealing with these philosophical issues, rather than to emphasize the general excitement that such a concept could produce. I didn’t blame him for that at all, because there is already an excellent low-budget sci-fi that dealt fantastically with that topic (Ex Machina). Instead of answers, we get a film filled with brutal combat sequences and with a few really comic scenes. That way, we don’t think about the consequences of artificial intelligence being transplanted into a person’s brain, but we look at it as something cool – I understand that some people didn’t like such a frivolous approach, but I didn’t have a problem with it, on the contrary.
Logically, with such an approach, a rather entertaining cyberpunk film was obtained. A good source of comedy is our protagonist, who, after the initial rejection of technology, understands what his new chip can do, so he gives him consent to take control. That usually means we expect a festival of bloodshed and action worthy of the Matrix. The action is evoked by great choreographies of one-sided beatings, which were recorded with a camera without a cut, which means that if Gray falls, the camera falls together with him, they get up together at the same angle and the like.
Logan Marshall Green, who gained popularity with his role in the series Quarry, with his performance and comic reactions during the fights gives the story the necessary humanity. His character reacts with horror and guilt to the brutality caused by his body. The film’s ability to constantly raise the adrenaline depends a lot on its presentation of the main character, and he does it for every praise. Individuals might say that fight scenes, which are occasionally replaced by chases, seem routine after a while, but if you value action on ideas, you won’t notice it.