“Upgrade” (BH Tilt)
By Catholic News Service
Brief but excessively graphic scenes of bloodletting mar this otherwise mildly interesting sci-fi thriller, set in a recognizable version of the future.
Left a widower and a quadriplegic after a seemingly random attack by a group of thugs (led by Benedict Hardie), an auto mechanic (Logan Marshall-Green) agrees to let a wealthy inventor (Harrison Gilbertson) implant an artificial intelligence chip into his body that will cure his paralysis. But the device, which has a Siri-like voice (Simon Maiden) only he can hear, not only restores his normal abilities, it endows him with superhuman fighting prowess, enabling him to embark on a trail of investigation and revenge along which he must stay one step ahead of the police detective (Betty Gabriel) assigned to his case.
Writer-director Leigh Whannell’s cautionary tale about the dangers of technology run amok eventually sees man and machine struggling for control, and only the reluctance of the human host to obey the ever-more savage will of his inhuman opponent will redeem for at least some grown viewers a film others will justifiably deem offensive.
Much gory, occasionally gruesome, violence, mature themes, including vengeance and suicide, a scene of marital sensuality, a handful of profanities, numerous rough and crude terms. The Catholic News Service classification is L — limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.