Action films mixed with science fiction elements have been done a really long time in Hollywood. And there are plenty of titles you should see, if you like this combination. There are especially 2 films that comes to my mind for now. Let us start with the 2010 film known as Inception, directed by Christopher Nolan. A very well made sci fi action film, that is also designed in a very unique way. The story is very effective, about a thief named Cobb ( played brilliant by Leonardo Di Caprio ) who is given one last chance of redemption, if he and his team manage to finish a complicated mission to plant information into a mind of a CEO. Not only does this film look fantastic, this film have also really strong characters and CGI effects that looks incredible. Christopher Nolan is of course one of the few directors who could have made a film like this, he knows how to make science fiction combined with action, in a very intelligent combination. I suggest that you pick up the Blu Ray release and see some interesting special features included. The second film that comes to my mind, is a film i have mentioned before in the past, but is still really good today. I am of course thinking about Minority Report, directed by legend Steven Spielberg. Considering the film was released in 2002, this film looks really good still today, 16 years later. Minority Report is in my opinion one of Tom Cruise best movies, and a really well made science fiction action story that takes a completely different turn on solving crimes within a special police force. The technology looks fantastic, and the future design is really impressive. Director Steven Spielberg proved once again why he knows how to make films that will affect you, emotionally and physically. Minority Report is one of those films you need to buy on Blu Ray, because this is the kind of film you want to experience with great picture and great sound. There is also some nice special features included as well, if you are curious about the making of this film. There are science fiction films released every year, with action included. Some of them are ok, while there are some releases that you simply forget because they have nothing to offer. When i check new titles out, i usually try and look for something different, since i prefer films that look outside of the safety zone. And this is where i discovered a film called Upgrade, thanks to a review from YouTube movie reviewer Chris Stuckmann. While listening to the review of the film, i could tell that Upgrade did seem different from most films this year. So i finally got a chance to check it out on VOD. Do we finally have a sci fi action film that is surprisingly good, or is Upgrade in need of a better script and a better story than what we got here ?
Grey Trace ( Logan Marshall-Green ) is a stay-at-home mechanic, lives with his wife Asha Trace ( Melanie Vallejo ) who works for the company known as Cobolt. This company is trying to increase human-computer augmentations in a near-future world. Asha asks Grey to go with her to return a refurbished car to his client Eron Keen ( Harrison Gilbertson ) who works for the rival company Vessel. Grey decides to go with her, but on their way home, the self driving car they are going in is not working correctly, so they crash at a homeless camp. A group of unknown men execute Asha in front of Grey, and seriously injure him as well. Grey survives, but is now paralyzed, and is forever stuck in a drive motors wheel chair. Grey´s life is now lost, and he have nothing to be happy about. But Eron Keen approach Grey, about helping him. He knows that they could do an operation, that would help Grey get his life back. The surgery is to implant STEM into Grey´s spine, that will help his body to function again. But Grey notice something, that STEM talks to Grey in his mind, and can help him revenge the death of his wife Asha. Grey wants to find the men who did this, but could this cause even more problems, when Grey have no idea what STEM could cause to his body ?
I have been waiting for an odd science fiction film, that combines hard hitting action scenes in a very effective way. And i am so happy to say, Upgrade is exactly what we needed this year. This is the kind of film you don´t see very often, because it is different and have much more to say than ordinary action films on the market. Instead of using the same typical cliches as many action films does, Upgrade combine the action with a different human perspective, how a paralyzed man can suddenly become a lethal weapon. This film also take on the subject on medical procedures, and how far you would be willing to go to fix your damaged body. I would say that the most effective parts of this film is without a doubt the action scenes. Hard hitting, and you can almost feel every punch thanks to great sound effects. The colors of this film looks really good as well, that makes this film very stylish and well designed. The acting in this film is something we have to talk about. Lead actor Logan Marshall-Green ( known from a number of different films such as Prometheus and Spider-Man: Homecoming ) does his best acting in his career so far in Upgrade. He plays his character Grey Trace so effective, you can´t deny he is the perfect choice for this role. Another great performance is from actor Benedict Hardie ( known for such films as The Water Diviner and Hacksaw Ridge ) as the cold hearted character Fisk, who does not appreciate the revenge hunt from Grey. As an evil character, he works really well with the story. It is so nice to see actor Betty Gabriel ( known from 2 of The Purge movies ) as Detective Cortez. Her tough personality is exactly what this film needs, a strong female character. And i really hope to see Betty Gabriel in a lead role in the future, especially in an action film. I have to mention Harrison Gilbertson as Eron Keen, also a character that makes Upgrade interesting from a medical perspective. Let´s talk about this film from an action perspective. I mentioned earlier on some of the positive things, how you can feel the fighting. But that´s not all, the violence in general is very effective, including the shooting scenes ( where some of the evil men have bullets in their arms, as a shotgun arm ) works really well. Considering the budget of Upgrade is around 5 million dollar, i have to say that they have done a really good job with the production value. Director Leigh Whannell, who directed Insidious Chapter 3, have made his best film so far with Upgrade. This could be the best action film of the year, so i strongly suggest you watch this film if you love action combined with science fiction. I am getting Upgrade on Blu Ray when it comes out, i hope you do the same and experience high cinema quality.