Following Netflix’s recent pattern of making movies which can stand up to mainstream studios, iBoy maintains it’s ‘indie’ roots, yet hasn’t quite managed to pull off the same level of hype usually attached to its cellular companion; the iPhone.
Despite the film avoiding Apple branding in its actual scenes, it does manage to turn a seemingly normal teenager into a walking, talking, mind-controlling, mobile phone. He’s able to hack and control almost anything around him. This is, in a way, one of the biggest problems with this film. Between being able to lock doors, detonate phones and cars, and intercept mobile conversations from almost anyone, he still has to be within eyesight of his intended targets. It’s almost like the mobile in his head doesn’t have very good reception.
It would be okay if the film were aiming for a tongue-in-cheek style. However, it’s quite clear from the outset that it’s not. The villains are a group of gang members who ultimately seem to have no redeeming qualities. After having shot Tom (Bill Milner) in the head (whilst he was using a mobile phone) at the beginning of the movie, Tom somehow (because he was using a mobile phone) manages to manifest his mental hacking abilities at an extraordinary pace. He also seems incredibly relaxed considering he was just shot in the head and so returns to school only a few days after he recovers.
As cliched blue lights and floating orbs of text find themselves in Tom’s field of view, he seems to only be concerned with his love interest Lucy (Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams). She was attacked by the same gang members Tom was shot by when he had gone to visit her. Maisie Williams’ character does manage to bring some light to the otherwise dull iBoy. Her character is the main driving force behind the movie’s narrative as Tom seems intent on getting revenge.
Unfortunately, what could have ended up being an interesting tale of modern crime involving good vs. evil, became lost in its own uncertainly of what it actually was. If you would like to catch iBoy, you can check it out on Netflix now.