iBoy looks like it has all the ingredients to be a really cool movie. So it is, right? Right…?
Firstly, I just want to say how convenient it is to review movies on Netflix, rather than having to get out of bed and put on clothes and stuff to go to the cinema.
Secondly, let’s all acknowledge Netflix is the greatest thing that’s ever happened in ever. Thirdly, let’s talk iBoy.
One of Netflix’s latest movies, iBoy follows the story of a young teenager who gets hacking/computer-like powers after an accident. Cool premise right? And with how they present the film in a dark gritty adult crime film way, Netflix surely had this one in the bag. Weeeelllll, not exactly. iBoy is a nice-looking, decently acted film with a cool premise, but it’s wasted on bland two dimensional characters, confusing plot holes and a boring plot. So yeh, review over. (Not actually, please stay around).
iBoy does have some positive aspects…
Look, visually the movie is great; I’ll give the cinematographers that. They were able to bring out the dark alleyways and crime-filled streets in Britain, pretty much exactly like Gotham, except with teenage wannabe gangsters. Everything in this city has a mysterious and inconspicuous feel about it, from the city landscapes to the sets. And I suppose it does convey the atmosphere. Even the CGI was done surprisingly well, and actually complimented the raw footage, which is hard to do in such a ‘hardcore’ environment.
Now for the MOST part, everyone did a pretty good job in acting, especially Maisie Williams. She stole the entire movie in every scene she was in, and was one of the few characters I actually gave a shit about. Bill Milner was okay as the protagonist, although I felt the script didn’t give him much leeway for any character development… or anything remotely interesting for that matter. All the other side characters sometimes got on my nerves, but they acted fine.
Unfortunately those positive aspects were more than matched by negatives ones…
The thing that bugged me was how much the script incorporated British slang. I get they’re teens in Britain, and yes they’re obviously going go have colloquial slang. But seriously, does it need to be every single sentence. Someone please clear up if actual British teens speak like this or if the scriptwriter is going crazy, bruv.
Now, I want to talk about the antagonist in the film… Who? For a majority of the film, all this iBoy does is take out his anger on teenage gangsters who sell drugs and shoot people and all that stuff ‘normal teenagers’ do. Fine, whatever. But then literally in the third and final act, the main antagonist or mob boss just shows up at his house. There was barely any build up to him. I didn’t even know who he was when he showed up until his gang followed his orders.
Essentially, the script starts off solid in the first half, but then takes a huge turn around in the second half, creating unnecessarily random plot points and jumping from one antagonist to another.
Speaking about storyline, this film has nothing particularly riveting or exciting.
There is no hook that makes viewers enticed to watch it. There were so many times when I felt bored and wanted to click away, and having it on demand on Netflix made it so much harder to sit through. Even the characters weren’t that interesting, especially the main character – and he had the coolest powers!
Building on my last point, iBoy’s powers are such a mixed bag. He receives these powers when phone shards get trapped in his brain, and suddenly he has a whole range of abilities, like hacking, text messaging, talking over radios, exploding devices, and even releasing energy bursts? The film doesn’t take its time to develop the hero and explain his powers or what he can do. Remember A Quest for Peace, when Superman had the most absurd and random powers like wall-building? Yeah, it’s kinda like that.
Sorry, that went from review to rant really quickly.
Bottom line is this:
iBoy is a Netflix movie that looks great, but struggles to convey its characters and a solid plot. That being said, I can see people liking it. It may not be for everyone, but certain people will enjoy it, so perhaps you should check it out. To some extent, it is still worth watching – it’s not THAT bad. Let’s just say I’m not angry at how it turned out, I’m just disappointed.
My Rating: 5.5/10