Rated 2.0

Some well-choreographed action scenes can’t help this low budget sci-fi thriller make the grade. Logan Marshall-Green stars as Grey, a muscle car-loving geek who fixes classic autos for rich people in the future. After he and his girlfriend (Betty Gabriel) have an accident in her self-driving car (I just don’t know how I will ever be able to get into one of those things), Grey is left paralyzed and hungry for revenge. One of Grey’s clients, a tech giant named Eron (Harrison Gilbertson) has a solution: an implant called Stem that will bridge the gap between his brain and severed spinal cord. What he doesn’t tell Grey is that Stem will internally speak to him with a voice like Hal’s from 2001: A Space Odyssey and that when Stem takes over his body, he will have ninja skills. This sounds like it would be fun, but many of the performers in this movie seem like they’ve never been in front of a camera before. While there’s plenty of action in the flick, and that action is often good, most of the movie is characters speaking dialogue, and the dialogue and delivery is often terrible. It also lacks a much needed sense of humor. Now, if they made an Upgrade sizzle reel, a 15-minute summary of all the cool fight scenes and chases in the movie, that would be worth a viewing on YouTube. Unfortunately, this movie is a lot longer than that, and most of it is melodramatic and tough on the ears.