iBoy film review: Netflix does Brit superheroics

Bill Milner and Maisie Williams star in Netflix’s iBoy

When Tom’s (Bill Milner) high-school crush Lucy (Maisie Williams) is assaulted in her home, he finds himself staring down the barrel of a gun. A shameful fight-or-flight response leaves Tom in the hospital with a head injury, and it’s not long before he realises that pieces of his broken phone had accidentally found themselves embedded into his brain, with no chance of removal.

It’s not all bad though; after his accident, it transpires that Tom has developed the power to control technology with his mind. Not wanting Lucy’s mysterious attackers to get away with it, Tom uses his newfound powers to exact revenge.
For a film about a teenage boy gaining powers from the shards of his mobile phone, iBoy can be surprisingly dark.

At times it feels like a cute teen romance as we watch Tom and Lucy’s friendship strengthen after going through the respective traumatic experiences at the same time, but of course the traumatic events came in the form of being shot and sexually assaulted respectively.

iBoy has its pacing down to a T. Its three acts are knitted together with just enough action and character study to keep you near the edge of your seat. Milner is solid as the film’s lead, playing Tom with an air of ‘everyday guy just trying to do what’s right’. Williams, however, stands out as Lucy, a young woman and rape survivor struggling to work through her trauma and pick herself up again.

However, these positives aren’t really enough to make iBoy feel like much more than another teen sci-fi. It’s a thrill ride up to a point, but there are many films that do what it’s doing better and with more heart.