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June 12, 2018 GMT

The time is the near future. The place is a world of driverless cars and Siri-like communications and control systems designed to reassure the human population while undermining its autonomy in this forbidding vision of Earth as a hellhole of convenience. Our hero is an analog tough guy, Grey Trace, a mechanic who loves tinkering with late 20th century muscle cars. Writer-director Leigh Whannell gets right to it. Grey and his corporate drone wife, Asha (Melanie Vallejo), become victims of a brutal mugging that leaves Asha mortally wounded and Grey hanging on for dear life, while surveillance drones capture it all live. At death’s door, Grey’s saved by a complete artificial overhaul, including the smartbug critter invented by the tech genius with the sallow complexion (Harrison Gilbertson). This renders him superhumanly lethal and superDUPER fast with the knife and martial arts skills. Grey then pursues the thugs who offed his wife, with a lot of blood and viscera with the occasional witty rejoinder. 1:35. 2.5 stars. -- M.P.