"What if your reality got an upgrade?" asks the trailer for iBoy, a new superhero movie from Netflix starring Game of Thrones' Maisie Williams and some dude named Bill Milner. The premise of the movie is that Bill, who's known as Tom in the movie, not that it makes a difference, is shot in the head while making a phone call, causing pieces of his shattered smartphone to become embedded in his brain. Because that's how computers work, Tom begins to develop cyborg-like powers, allowing him to apparently control electronic devices as well as perform computations that appear in a visual hud to help him kick butts. All the while he pines for his best friend, Williams' character, Lucy, who then of course gets kidnapped by local crimelords because they can't have a teenager running around with direct telepathic access to Siri, mucking up their plans. "Unlock your power," the trailer tells viewers.
If all of this sounds like a hilarious parody satirizing smartphone culture and superhero flicks, that's because it's absolutely what this movie should be. But the trailer, at least, is playing it completely straight. The movie is based on young adult novel of the same name by Kevin Brooks, which seems to confirm that this movie isn't a joke.
One five-star review of the book on Amazon reads:
I have just finished this book…
If there was a rating over five then I would have given that rating.
I would recommend it to any Kevin Brooks fan and any iphone maniac.
While a different, one-star review reads:
This is NOT a book for children. Main themes of book are the rape of young girls, violence, revenge and gang warfare. Prolific use of the F-word, graphic descriptions of violence and threats – including threats of male and female rape, and the threat of raping the boy's grandmother and forcing him to watch. Most of the characters appear to be between the ages of 12yrs and older teens. the main character is 16 yrs.
In the advertising blurb at the back of the book the author describes himself as a children's writer. The cover looks as if it is designed to appeal to children, and the back cover says it is about a 16yr old boy, and mentions that a gang "assaulted" his friend lucy. If they had had the honesty to put that it was about gang-rape perhaps it would be clear that it was not a suitable book for school children.
Here's the official synopsis:
Tom is an average teenager whose world is turned on its head when a violent encounter with local thugs leaves fragments of his shattered smartphone embedded in his brain. He wakes from a coma to discover that returning to normal teenage life is impossible because he has developed a strange set of superpowers. With these new powers he sets out to seek revenge on the gang, who also assaulted his best friend Lucy.
Check out the trailer below. iBoy will be released on Netflix on January 17.