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Upgrade was so under the radar that I missed it completely when it came to theaters in my city. I waited for weeks after I saw the first trailer on YouTube and was super excited by the action and the thought of basically implanting super powers into your body. However, the movie disappeared from the theater as quickly as my thoughts of seeing it, as it was supposed to come out the same month as Hotel Artemis and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
Then came August 28 when I was exploring YouTube once again and as with any pesky ad that pops up while you’re watching your favorite Youtuber, I was met with an advertisement of the release of Upgrade to digital. Of course, this sparked my interest and I immediately purchased it through VUDU.
Since I am a fan of saving money the purchase of 15 dollars over 26 as opposed to going to see it in theaters made this all the more worthwhile. Still, the thought and fact that they removed it from theaters made me somewhat wary. "Maybe it was so bad they had to remove it..." I thought to myself. Nevertheless, I sat down and watched it with my girlfriend whom also briefly recalled my interest for the movie.
Without giving anything away and being spoiler free, I have to say this much: the trailer was the tip of the iceberg and didn't spoil the movie as some do when it comes to most action movies. If you think back to almost any movie trailer, there is guaranteed to be way too much of the movie, so much in fact that you feel as though you just watched a summarized version of the film. This is, however, not the case for Upgrade. The trailer alone gives you a sense of adventure, action, and a little bit of mystery in the “Who done it?” sense.
The main character, Grey Trace, played by Logan Marshall-Green, whom I honestly thought was Tom Hardy at first glance, played the screen well as he pursues a level of charm that pushes you to care about what happened to him. In the trailer, it shows Grey as his wife is killed and he is left a quadriplegic. You watch as he struggles until a mysterious man shows up and offers a chance at redemption at life. However, Grey has other things on his mind, pun intended, as he begins to start hearing voices from the very device that has given him his ability to walk once more.
Grey and the device, called Stem, begin their pursuit of an individual believed to be linked to his, Grey’s, wife’s death. Things go south as Grey reluctantly did not plan for the suspect to return home and finds himself pinned to the ground. However, Stem suggests letting him take control of Grey’s body and as soon as Stem takes effect, goes full assault on the suspect. Now depending on what version of the trailer you watch you wouldn’t see much or you would see a Stem-controlled Grey nearly decapitate the suspect. This is, of course, the difference between the Regular and the Red Band trailers. You are warned, the Red Band trailer is gory.
Throughout the movie, the plot kept me guessing and the main character made me feel connected to their story. The film's twist and turns send you for a loop, while the ending leaves you both saying "Wow!" and "WTF" (in a good way!) at the same time. Having purchased the movie, I have already re-watched it three times. 4/5 rating for me.