I knew one day despite my cynical outlook on film, I would run across a good movie. I’ve seen good movies in the past. I know they are out there. This might have to do with my habit of picking movies that just sound oddball to watch. This one fits that description to the letter.
Before I tell you the plot, I have a bit of a story in connection with this plot idea. My friend Brian—shout out to my good friend in Florida—pitched an idea to my producing partner Chris and I about someone who suddenly gets the ability to process the internet via a wifi connection in their head. He pitched it as an action thriller with the government in their nifty black helicopters chasing after him. Chris and I never really saw it as an action film but a comedy was an entirely different story. The reason I went off on that tangent is that iBoy has a very similar plot.
A boy gets pieces of his phone lodged in his brain after a vicious attack and this gives him powers. I don’t know how but that detail is not important in the slightest. Work with me on this. He decides to stand up for his girl crush who was also involved in the attack. It continues to build as he works his way through the gang responsible, finding the top guy. I know you’ve definitely seen this plot before. There is no denying that. It plays the formula to perfection though.
Sometimes we have to wonder if you’re able to successfully ride that razor wire of the formula. This cinematic treat does that but also adds a little bit more to it in the excellent character work especially from Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones and fluid forward momentum. It is a cool 90 minutes and it feels just the right length. Goldilocks has found the perfect container to hide the formula in. It is a superhero origin story tried through and through. I’m okay with this especially when it is this well done and this well executed.
The tone is definitely more serious. The idea is wacky and off the wall but the movie expects you to fall in line and suspend your disbelief quickly. If you’re not able to do that, then this movie will not be for you. It has grim violence in it. It has gore and adult language but it mostly features teenagers and little to no police presence. Okay thinking about it, it requires a lot of suspension of disbelief. If you allow real-world logic into the proceedings, you’re bound to pick things apart. Don’t do that.
The performances were pretty top notch in this. They play their parts well. iBoy played by Bill Milner is very awkward in the beginning and it shows in his body language even in his initial crime fighting outing. He clearly becomes more confident as he sees success and as his relationship with Maisie Williams’ Lucy progresses to the romantic that he has always desired. She has some incredibly expressive eyes. You can see how haunted she is by the attack and how apprehensive she is once the gang starts to fight back. But she shows some real strength in the end.
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this film. I was prepared to laugh at it because the premise and especially the title are ridiculous. I didn’t think this idea would work but my goodness, let me shout out to the good folks from my alcoholic, chicken-drunken stupor that iBoy is a fun, enjoyable good movie. Whew, there I said it. Don’t ask me to say it again. Just go watch the film.