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Upgrade 2018 ****

Leigh Whannell’s work on the Saw and Insidious franchise gave him a cult appeal; with Upgrade, he proved that he can mix it with the big boys, making over $50 million Stateside on a tiny budget. Logan Marshall-Green stars as Grey Trace, who is involved in an accident with a driverless car and gets an upgrade on his body; Eron Keen (Harrison Gilbertson), an eccentric tech-billionaire, persuades Grey to test out an innovative augmented body which gives him incredible strength, and sets him on a path to revenge those who he believes caused the accident.  The nature of the Upgrade of the title is fun to watch, as Grey nimbly skips from his wheelchair to literally rip thugs apart; it’s a vigilante fantasy, but it’s done with wit and verve, and the twists and turns are fun to follow. Whannell has been one to watch for a while; Upgrade in a hard-core proof of concept that indicates he’s an A-List film-maker from now on.

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