Action


Upgrade


MPAA Rating:
R
Genre:
Action
Runtime:
95 mins
Stars:
Logan Marshall-Green, Benedict Hardie, Simon Maiden, Melanie Vallejo, Betty Gabriel
Director:
Leigh Whannell
Producer:
Leigh Whannell, Rosemary Blight, Jason Blum, Kylie Du Fresne, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones

Content at a Glance

0

Sex

Approved: 0-2 in any category

 

0:
none
1:
on-screen acts of romance
2:
infidelity; implied pre-marital sex or secondary lead characters with consequences
3:
inappropriate sexual relations without consequences
4-5:
graphic sexual activity is heard and/or seen
×
3
Language

Sex

Approved: 0-2 in any category

 

0:
none
1:
on-screen acts of romance
2:
infidelity; implied pre-marital sex or secondary lead characters with consequences
3:
inappropriate sexual relations without consequences
4-5:
graphic sexual activity is heard and/or seen
×
5
Violence

Violence

Approved: 0-2 in any category

 

0:
none
1:
on-screen acts of romance
2:
infidelity; implied pre-marital sex or secondary lead characters with consequences inappropriate sexual relations without consequences
4-5:
graphic sexual activity is heard and/or seen
×
2
Drugs

Drugs

Approved: 0-2 in any category

 

0:
none
1:
occasional drinking by secondary characters (i.e., man in bar)
2:
historically accurate use of alcohol and tobacco products
3:
continuous drinking and drug use common throughout
4-5:
drug/alcohol used many times by main character(s) shown in a positive light
×
0

Nudity

Approved: 0-2 in any category

 

0:
none
1:
baby’s behind; shirtless men, low cut shirts, short skirts seen occasionally on women
2:
rear nudity that is not suggestive such as skinny dipping from a distance; cleavage
3:
sexually suggestive and revealing clothing or underwear is common throughout
4-5:
frontal nudity
×
0

Other

Approved: 0-2 in any category

 

Lead characters that exhibit disrespect for authority, lying, cheating, stealing, illegal activity, witchcraft or sorcery

0:
none
1:
mild-moderate with consequences
2:
moderate poor behavior
3:
moderate-heavy behavior with no consequences
4-5:
extreme portrayals, condoned or excused
×

Sex


No Information

Language


a few uses of "f--k," "s--t," "g-dd-mn," etc.

Violence


impalings, stabbings, heads being blown off (as well as nearly cut off), slashings, a point-blank shooting, and more. a character also attempts suicide via overdose.

Drugs


No Information

Nudity


No Information

Other


No Information


Trailer



Synopsis

Set in the near future, technology controls nearly all aspects of life. But when Grey Trace, a self-identified technophobe, has his world turned upside down, his only hope for revenge is an experimental computer-chip implant called STEM.




Movie Message

Upgrade opens with an introduction to cowboy-type Grey Trace (Marshall-Green) toying with an old, souped-up car. We are to immediately understand that his wife has a culturally common obsession with technology that is not shared by her husband. They quickly end up in her modern self-driving car when they crash; the wife is killed by a band of hooligans who arrive on the scene, and Grey is paralyzed.


In this age of technology, Grey’s quadriplegia is remedied with robotic arms; however, the theme of AI taking over becomes apparent when a colleague of Grey’s offers him the restoration of his former capabilities and even more by implanting in his spine a spider-like robot. The innovative, cyborgian ideas brought to life in this film—such as contact lenses that direct a surgeon’s every move, machine guns built into characters’ arms, airborne miniature robots that kill from within, and implants that can cooperate with one's brain—drive the excitement and suspense when Grey works diligently with his implant called STEM to track down and eliminate his wife’s killers.


There is a comedic element to this movie, delivered by Grey, and especially in relationship with STEM. The irony of these light-hearted moments, precariously balanced with STEM’s impending threat to usurp control of Grey, is cleverly realized in the midst of some graphic fight scenes that almost always end in brutal deaths. The opportunity to witness a human struggle with AI is unique to this narrative as we see Grey demand justice, but actively rebel against STEM’s demands for the total subjugation and even death of humans.


The action is complete with a high-speed chase that is dictated by computers and takes the opportunity to highlight once again the differences between machines controlled by humans, such as the old-school car Grey drives, and the threat of advanced technology.


With some clever twists in the end, this film delivers decently for those thrilled by dystopic storylines, permeated by the fear of robotics. The idea that our impending struggle ultimately pits one type of mind against another brings this warning home to roost as we consider the logical conclusions to our increasingly automated world, which sets us up for an inevitable “upgrade” in the form of a sequel.


Due to graphic violence involving weapons, attempted suicide, and salty language/swearing, this film is not Dove Approved.

© The Dove Foundation – All Rights Reserved.




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