iBoy (2017)

5:11 AM

I'm a Mother F*****g iBoy
 iBoy is directed by Adam Randall (Level Up) and stars Bill Milner (X-Men: First Class, Locke), Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones, Cyberbully) and Rory Kinnear (The Imitation Game, Skyfall). "After an accident, Tom wakes from a coma to discover that fragments of his smart phone have been embedded in his head, and worse, that returning to normal teenage life is impossible because he has developed a strange set of super powers". We are all addicted to our phones, is iBoy what the future holds?

I really didn't have any expectations before watching this - it kept popping up at the top of Netflix for a couple of weeks prior to its release and I thought it looked pretty pants. However, last night, I was in the mood to watching a film so I made a Twitter poll - the options were Hell or High Water, War Dogs, John Wick or iBoy - the majority voted John Wick but it was too difficult trying to access that as for some reason you can't rent it currently on iTunes or Amazon Video!? I then decided to watch iBoy as I knew I could easily access it via Netflix. I now understand why nobody is talking about this and why it hasn't had as big of an impact as usual Netflix releases - it's rubbish. 

What could make iBoy so bad? Well, I think at the heart of it is the bad acting - I don't think there is a performance in this film that can qualify as 'decent'. Despite being just 19, Maisie Williams is probably the biggest star power in this film - this is one of her first major features post Game of Thrones. I don't watch Game of Thrones but I do know she has been nominated for an Emmy for her acting in that show. Why didn't she bring that talent to iBoy? Williams is horrible in this film - her acting feels forced and unconvincing - I also acknowledge there was nothing here for her to work with but I honestly expected much better. I've seen acting better than this in even worse films. Bill Milner is fine - he's certainly nothing special and is simply forgettable. He does nothing with the role (and you can't say he couldn't have done better because he plays a pretty interesting character). The leads have basically no chemistry - this is because there is no time spent developing their relationship. I feel sorry for the actors who ended up in this film - all of the supporting cast are pretty terrible and wooden and I just think the performances that belong in a raw, gritty gangster film don't fit with a teen sci-fi. 

The story is actually pretty grounded and confined for a film like this which was refreshing to see. However, how does iBoy get his powers? It is incredibly confusing and doesn't really make sense. Apparently parts of his phone ended up in his brain???? How??!! The film spends no time trying to explain this to the audience and I think that's because it doesn't know either. At the heart of the narrative is the relationship between the two leads - what relationship? We are told just minutes into the film that the relationship is one-sided and that is all we are told. Maybe if more time was spent developing the characters and their relationships before Tom (Milner) turns into iBoy, we might have cared a little more. 

Gangs and violence are key themes throughout the film and I kind of get what iBoy was trying to say but I think it ended up just glossing over it and not actually giving a clear message. All of the members of the gangs are very stereotypical of what you would expect. I actually think iBoy uses too much violence with his new powers - he is trying to take down a violent group by just using more violence - doesn't really make sense does it? The film also tries to make some commentary on the divide between the classes in the final act but I think these comments were left too late - this could have been a clear theme throughout but it just wasn't. I also hate how there was a return of the damsel in distress in this film - yes, it was a modern take on the character type but I just wish the character of Lucy (Williams) wasn't just there to be a love interest and victim. 

iBoy is of the standard of something you would see on a children's TV channel on a Thursday evening. Everything is substandard - the visuals aren't cool, the whole idea isn't as thought-provoking as it wants to be and the characters are flimsy and one dimensional. Those from the UK will understand this comparison but iBoy reminds me of a slightly sci-fi version of 'Waterloo Road' - that was a decent show but then it kind of went off the rails - iBoy would have probably been a storyline if it was still going today. 

Don't watch iBoy, there is so much better out there. I think this film may interest British tweens but that's about it. The film is not as intellectual as it wants to be - it clearly has so much on its mind, it just doesn't know how to get it all onto paper. The acting is pretty poor - Williams should be embarrassed for her performance in this film - to go from being nominated for an Emmy to this performance in iBoy is a travesty. The plot is refreshingly confided and grounded but that also means the stakes are also not very high. We don't care about the characters, the lines are cheesy and this is simply a film I am already forgetting. iBoy - it's as awful as it sounds. 


What did you think of iBoy? What is your verdict on Williams' performance? - COMMENT BELOW

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