Upgrade – tiny budget, big ambition

Make no mistake, this movie was shot to make a tidy profit. A B-movie genre with small budget like this have been around since the days of black and white pictures heyday in Hollywood. However, the new generation of film makers who carry on the torch to produce these B-movies also realize that they need a compelling storyline and a decent script to draw in the savvy movie goers. Upgrade is one of those B-movies that cleverly predicted a gap in the market and created this sci-fi movie, shot in Australia and with no-name actors. The selling point is the flashy teaser trailer showing an implanted computer chip that turn our crippled protagonist into a super fighting human, out to avenge the death of his wife.
However, UPGRADE is one of those rare B movie that actually works. Props to Leigh Whannel (the creator of the Saw Trilogy movies) for his skill of putting together a bit parts of other movies and turn it into an immensely watchable movie. The fight choreography is on par with a chinese martial art movie from Hong Kong, which is a high compliment. Not even Matrix can match the fight choreography on that level despite the master Yuen Woo Ping who did the second unit in the Matrix films. The forced scenes of suspense in the movie also works well somehow. In the end, this relatively short action film keeps you entertain and provide a brief escape from your daily routine. If only Hotel Artemis is a fraction as creative and clever as this movie, it would escape the worst movie of the year title imho.