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So, as a big fan of Ghost in the Shell, I was really happy to see Upgrade explore some similar ideas.
The great thing about this film is how believable everything is. Okay, maybe the fact that there's a beyond-human-intelligence chip the size of a peanut before anyone developed a building-sized version is kinda wonky, but let's just ignore that for a second. Almost everything else about the film feels like it's very possible in the near future, and a natural step up from what we have today. Self-driving cars? Sure. Voice-controlled smart home? We have those already.
So the step up to bionic implants isn't all that hard to believe, especially when it's mostly secret military-grade hardware. The whole universe has a believable vibe to it, which keeps it relatable without needing to waste time on expository infodumps like many sci-fi films rely on.
That, of course, means we get to actually focus on the plot and the characters. No character is perfect, and they all remain very human. From our luddite main character to the cyber-ubermensch, as the mystery unfolds, we can understand all the characters, even if we don't like them.
Of course, there's always the one thing I don't like about films like this, is that they always seem fearful of new technology. Very rarely do sci-fi films like this praise advancement as the solution to our problems, it's always some kind of pandora's box. But at least this film did it in an interesting way, even right to the end. It's the film that makes me want to rewatch knowing the ending and figuring out all the hints and double meanings that came before it.
8/10, very enjoyable sci-fi.
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