Bill Milner (Son of Rambow)
Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones)
Miranda Richardson (The Young Victoria)
Rory Kinnear (Spectre)
When geeky Tom (Bill Milner) discovers his friend Lucy (Maisie Williams) being viciously attacked, the thugs turn their attention to him and he’s badly beaten up. As he recovers, he learns that fragments from his mobile phone are embedded in his brain, giving him strange new powers. All the better to take revenge for what happened to Lucy and run her attackers out of town.The trailer for iBoy took off like a rocket when it was launched a few weeks ago, with over one million hits on just one night. Not bad going for a low-budget British sci-fi fantasy, even if the presence of Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams probably gave the figures a boost.On the face of it, there’s nothing especially new about the film. The idea of somebody being injured and acquiring super powers as a result has all been done before, as has those powers being used to right a wrong or two. It’s what superhero movies are made of and that’s what iBoy is, even if it’s a long way short of being a blockbuster. In fact, it doesn’t have any pretentions in that direction. What it’s trying to do is bring a new twist to the genre.And as a British low-budget superhero movie, with its feet rooted very much in present day reality, it has a certain novelty value. The special effects enhance the overall hi-tech feel, showing us exactly what Tom can see – and hear – from other people’s electronic devices because of his superpowers. He’s the ultimate eavesdropper and, with his hoodie and half covered face when he’s out taking revenge on the gang, something of a low-budget ninja.Director Adam Randall has made every penny of his low-budget count. Many of the scenes, especially at night, are given a blue wash to further emphasise the story’s techie credentials, contrasting with the harsh lines of the tower blocks on council estate and the omnipresent graffiti bringing it all back down to earth with a bump. All very dark and all very sinister.The film teams Randall for the second time in the space of twelve months with director of photography Eben Bolter: they were also behind last year’s Level Up, which shares some similarities with iBoy, especially the idea of somebody single-handedly trying to save the person they love. And, while that common ground is another reminder that the storyline isn’t especially new, the film is well acted, visually arresting and is snappily paced. And, while there are moments when the film and its hero could do with a quick upgrade, the present day urban setting keeps everything nicely grounded.