Upgrade ★★★★½

Thoroughly intriguing, immensely entertaining, and impressively more ambitious than expected, Upgrade is a well-crafted science-fiction horror-thriller that showcases Leigh Whannell's greatest strengths as a director. Let me just say right off the bat, I really loved this movie. Going into the film, though I had really enjoyed the trailers, I wasn't expecting the movie to be anything more than a throwaway popcorn flick. Fortunately enough, Upgrade turned out to be the biggest surprise of the year so far for me. As an immense lover of small science-fiction movies with grand ideas that are produced on a relatively small budget, I ate this whole movie up and couldn't get enough of it. The story was actually pretty thought-provoking and the movie sufficiently explored some rather interesting ideas about the psychological horrors of advanced health technology. This movie feels like a combination of the original Robocop and Death Wish movies. Logan Marshall-Green was absolutely great here as Grey Trace and finally gets a role to shine effectively in. He's dramatically intense when he needs to be and genuinely hilarious during the comedic bits. Whannell handles the character development of Grey very well. There's some great emotional investment going on during the beginning that I again wasn't expecting myself to latch onto. The villain as well is solidly menacing. It shouldn't come off as a surprise that there are some crazily brutal kills going on here, considering this film is directed by the same guy who wrote and starred in the first Saw. The action is well-shot and energetically thrilling. Visually, it's a very good looking movie with some beautifully futuristic visuals. My one main issue is that the twist at first was mostly predictable right from the very start. Aside from that, I had a complete blast with this movie. Suffice to say, it may in fact be my favorite movie of the year so far. That's how much I really enjoyed it. I highly recommend you all go out and see this little gem. Last year, Blumhouse produced a stellar horror gem with Get Out. This year, now the science-fiction genre is indeed in their favor.

My Grade: A

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