Upgrade is one of those movies with an intriguing badass trailer that will of course grab your attention.
The midnight audience award winner at SXSW, Upgrade looks to be the next fun action ride with hyperviolence and hyper-kinetic action. What results in watching it is something that leaves you wanting more, and not necessarily in the best way.
Upgrade builds its world and stakes and motivations relatively slowly, which works well once you get to the glorious payoff you’ve been sold on, but when it hits...it’s not enough. And while the action and choreography is so good, it never feels enough. There are moments that will make you chuckle with glee, but those are few and far between.
It steps through your usual action sci-fi Murder mystery fare, and while it is a nice comment on the world and reliance on technology into the future vs the old school...There’s not enough old school 80s feel behind it. The soundtrack could have used a bit more of an injection, and while it’s not necessarily a car chase that happens past the halfway mark...you still wish it had the energy or at least the competency of the technical execution.
Upgrade is ultimately full of potential, much like the magical chip that is said to do it all, but it’s never quite there to be a movie to rave to everyone about. Which is a shame, but it’s not the end of the world.