iBoy (2017)

dir. Adam Randall

iBoy is just your average boy-meets-girl YA movie. You know: boy meets girl; girl gets gang raped by generic council block hoodlums; boy gets shot by said hoodlums resulting in shards of a smartphone being embedded in his brain; boy develops extremely confusing and inconsistent cyber-based powers and uses them to enact revenge; girl gets kidnapped; girl’s kidnappers do the all-time dumbest thing possible and simply let go of her, enabling her to pick up a gun for Maisie Williams’ badass promotional shots; and it all culminates in a rainy climactic scene where Rory Kinnear’s villain does a whole lot of sneering and jeering. Just your average boy-meets-girl YA movie. iBoy clearly thinks it’s a gritty, realistic delve into the trials and tribulations faced by teenagers today, but the grimness is so formulaic that there’s a yawning dearth of emotional impact. It’s hard to feel anything but disgust at the way gang rape is used as a plot point. In addition, spot the ethnic minority who isn’t evil or corrupt in some way. Oh, there isn’t one! Of course only white people can be good. To add insult to injurt, the sci-fi is just beyond stupid. Of course sci-fi as a genre generally requests the audience suspends their disbelief – but iBoy takes it to such absurd levels, carried by such a mundane hero, that’s there’s really no reward for giving it the benefit of the doubt.

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