Netflix clearly has a boner for Science Fiction, because here we have, As DJ Khaled once said, “Another one!” iBoy is a Netflix original Sci-Fi “thriller.” So, here’s the gist of things: Tom is a high school student that lives in a tough neighborhood and is sort of the odd one out. You’ve seen it a million times. He’s got one childhood friend, a crush on a girl, Lucy, who he is too afraid to talk to, and trauma associated with having lost his parents. I imagine you can see the picture hanging on the wall. Now, let’s focus on the frame. A bunch of the asshole students from the school have been sucked into a gang, because…. why not. I never understood how humans can be that young and that awful to other people, but anyway, here we are. Tom has made plans to stop by Lucy’s flat, for some reason that I don’t remember and frankly, it doesn’t matter. When baby boy arrives, the front door is open…. Here we go. He looks down the hall way and sees hooded figures leaving his crush’s bedroom as she screams, one of them, filming with their phone. The group of boys, maybe 4 or 5, see Tom and chase him around the building. As he runs, he dials the police and holds the phone up to his ear to speak as one of the, needs an ass whoopin boys, shoots him. Tom wakes up in the hospital some time later, to his grandmother, who is also his caregiver. Like you might expect, he spends most of his time expressing regret for not having done more to stop the gang… Do I need to explain why this is ridiculous? Anyway, as time goes on, it turns out that the chip from his cell phone has been embedded in his brain, in the accident, and now homeboy got superpowers…. White kids always gettin’ special abilities and shit! That’s fucked up.
So, there’s a bit of disbelief to suspend, given this plot, but it’s easily done. I’d like to quickly note, that this film is done surprisingly well for a Netflix original, as far as cinematography goes. I was genuinely surprised. Good for Netflix, gettin’ shit right. The film shines as we see Tom discover his abilities and learn to command them as he and Lucy deal with the aftermath of what has happened to the two of them. This film focuses heavily on Tom, but what I am grateful for, is that we are given the opportunity to learn exactly what happened to Lucy, and we get a nice glimpse of what it means to her, as a person, not just a damsel. She is given time to live in front of the camera, so we can see things from her perspective, which I think is very important. Meanwhile, Tom aims at getting revenge against the gang that has hurt him and his Lucy, but in doing so, he may cause more life threatening problems… for EVERYONE. Now that Tom has been “upgraded” how will his relationships change with his best friend, his grandmother, Lucy…. himself? I don’t want to give too much away about the film, but I will say this: We all like films, in which there is a clear underdog for us to cheer on. iBoy has that. We love when characters have special abilities we could only dream of having. iBoy has that. We love watching two people’s attraction for each other slowly meet in the middle. iBoy has that. It’s interesting enough, but we don’t have much to cling to as far as how the characters are written, and while I definitely cared about their well being (I really dislike seeing young people in danger, I immediately start crying), aside from their circumstances, I’m not sure the audience ever develops a true liking of them. The film goes from feeling like a “diet thriller,” if you will, to feeling like a “diet art film.” Don’t get me wrong, this film is worth your time if you are looking for something interesting to watch one Friday evening, you will enjoy it. Will you remember it a week later? I don’t know, but it’s worth your time. Check it out.