MOVIES

Netflix Gives Underrated 2018 Sci-Fi-Thriller Upgrade a Second Life

“Upgrade” is set in 2046 and stars Logan Marshall Green as Grey, a man whose life is turned upside down after he is mugged. The traumatic event leaves Grey paralyzed and his wife Asha (Melanie Vallejo) dead. With the help of billionaire inventor Eron (Harrison Gilbertson), Grey agrees to be implanted with a chip that enhances his motor functions, turning him into a lean, mean, agile killing machine. With his capabilities upgraded, Grey embarks on a brutal quest of revenge, testing the futuristic technology’s power.

Despite boasting a minimal budget, the world of “Upgrade” is fully realized and inspired. The picture is filled with chaotic, gory action sequences that showcase how terrifying technology can be, especially when it becomes a part of us. Writer and director Leigh Whannell’s vision is bold, which isn’t surprising considering he’s the co-architect of the Saw and Insidious franchises, which he created with James Wan. 

The solo success of “Upgrade” propelled Whannell to the top of Hollywood’s food chain. In 2020, the director debuted the successful “Invisible Man” reboot for Universal Pictures. He’s now on track to direct Universal’s upcoming “Wolf Man” reboot. As for “Upgrade,” there are plans to expand that world. Producer Jason Blum has confirmed that an “Upgrade” TV series in the works, though it’s unclear when the project will debut. 

Loved “Upgrade” and need more sci-fi in your life? Check out the 35 best sci-fi movies currently available to stream. 

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