Upgrade (2018) Review

Action Sci-Fi Thriller


Director: Leigh Whannell

Cast: Logan Marshall-Green, Melanie Vallejo, Steve Danielsen, Betty Gabriel

Runtime: 1h 40 mins

What’s it about? Set in the near-future, technology controls nearly all aspects of life. But when Grey, a self-identified technophobe, has his world turned upside down, his only hope for revenge is an experimental computer chip implant called Stem.

Released in a year packed with big budget action flicks, Upgrade was an unexpected treat. Despite its smaller budget, Upgrade managed to set up a realistic futuristic world with advanced tech that looked spectacular.

Basically, Upgrade is a revenge film with a sci-fi twist. It focuses on Grey, a widower with his own internal operating system, named stem, on a quest to avenge his wife’s death. The sci-fi concept of this film is highly interesting as it briefly touches on how technology could potentially enhance the human body. Seeing the relationship between Grey and his A.I, stem, was fascinating and sometimes terrifying. Their interactions were enjoyable to watch and at times even amusing. However, what makes Upgrade such a blast to watch are its action scenes. During these scenes, Grey would use stem’s features to brutally take out the people involved with his wife’s murder. These scenes were cleverly shot, and used an intense score to make the scenes even more exciting.

Upgrade combines violent action and an intriguing sci-fi concept to create a cool, fun, and stylish film. The direction of the film was strong, and the ending was a nice unexpected twist which made the movie better. Logan Marshall-Green is superb in his role as Grey, delivering a solid performance. Upgrade is highly enjoyable and if you’re looking to have a good time, then I recommend you give this film a watch.

When to watch? If you are in the mood for a fun, cool and action-packed film or just looking to enjoy yourself.

A Good Match For: People that like action films and are looking for one slightly different; People that like fast-paced futuristic films; John Wick fans.

Not A Good Match For: People that are squeamish as the action is very bloody; People that aren’t fond of action or revenge films.

Similar movies: Venom, Dredd


  • Well-paced
  • Cleverly shot action scenes
  • A blast to watch


Overall, a well-paced and highly entertaining film with fantastic action scenes and an engaging look at the relationship between A.I and humans.


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