Upgrade ★★★½


This B movie mash up of elements from Ex Machina, FREEJACK (tm Matt Lynch), Robocop, The Lawnmower Man, Terminator and the Matrix films is probably the best Black Mirror episode so far.

I find the SAW films pretty odious (only seen and hated the first one actually) and havent seen any of the Insidious ones (yet?) but this film, written and directed by Whannell who had a hand in them, manages to consistently be good, schlocky and nasty fun (without taking itself too seriously), belying its very low budget.

It takes place in the digital world of the near future, and tells of the dramatic turn that the life of the (awesomely named) Grey Trace (Logan Marshall-Green, smolderingly effective) takes when he and his wife Asha are violently attacked after being in a car accident of sorts. He is the whole film, not only because the rest of the cast (apart from Benedict Hardie playing the main henchman) are pretty weak, but also because he expresses the fear that contemporary man has for artificial intelligence and virtual reality.

The camera makes dizzily inventive moves and there are a number of brilliant conceits (such as shotguns built into human arms and a sneeze full of murderous nanobots). Its length is just right for the action to dominate at just the right balance with the substance of the story.

My 2018 film list (ranked) boxd.it/1t7Ds

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