You’ve heard me talk about my obsession with Stardust, the social media app centered around movies? You can thank them for bringing you this review. I had seen the trailer for this exactly once, and while it was certainly my genre, I had concerns about quality. The month was looking pretty full for movie releases, so this moved low on the priority list. AND THEN Stardust happened. People on the app were raving about this movie, giddy over its action and violence and everything that I love in a movie. Okay forget trying to nap all evening before going to a midnight of The Room (more on that in a later post). With some very specific timing I could swing a showing. And my God am I glad that I did.

The premise of this is very simple. A mugging gone bad leaves a man paralyzed and his wife dead. He’s offered a chance to get his life back by installing a chip in his spine that will allow him to walk again. Turns out, the chip is even smarter than we thought and is able to fully take control of his body on command, which can be rather handy when he decides to seek out revenge on the baddies who did this to him in the first place.

I’ve talked so much about my love of action movies, particularly the gritty down and dirty kind. I haven’t seen one this gritty or this good in a very long time. There’s no CGI and over the top effects. It’s bare knuckles brawling, hand to hand, purely physical, and it’s amazing. Amazing not only because we don’t see this stripped down style to it very often (not much since Jason Statham left the Transporter title behind), but because the story warranted some really unique physicality in the fights. It’s hard to describe (and I really suggest you experience it anyways) but the choreography of a man not in control of his body throwing very deftly placed punches is very cool. Add in a very dry and twisted humor (most of which came into play during those fights), just enough gore, and some great camera work and this movie is gonna be one to remember for the ages purely for those sequences.

I’m calling it now, this is gonna be a star making turn for Logan Marshall-Green. The way he handled the physicality plus his humorous bewildered disgressions, coupled with a tough guy with a heart of gold demeaner, this dude can really be something. Again, think Jason Statham in The Transporter. The buzz this movie is getting is gonna draw people to it, and we’re all gonna remember this guy

Another aspect that I loved that made this film unique was that there was just enough of a futuristic element. Not so much that it distraacted, but enough to enhance the story. People had some cool body mods (like guns implanted in their hands…and I mean cool for the screen, not cool that I’d wanna see IRL) that added some flair and helped keep up the illusion that the computer chip’s technology was feasible.

Sure, there are some problematic story elements (fridging anyone?), but this is one of those movies where it didn’t matter. It’s entirely built around some incredible visuals and adrenaline filled sequences, and on that front it more than delivers. It’s one of those that I really lament not being able to see with my Daddy. His Steven Segal loving self would have eaten this movie up as much as I did. Honestly, I never wanted this movie to end. I wanted more. That’s not a feeling I often leave a theater with anymore. That’s what makes it all worth it.

Upgrade – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/

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