‘You got shot and you got superpowers? Most people get dead.’ In this solid, London-set sci-fi drama, which premieres on Netflix and in cinemas this weekend, average teenager Tom (Bill Milner) lives on the gang-controlled Crowley Estate. It’s a small, drab block of flats surrounded by the brightly lit apartments of millionaires in the shadow of The Gherkin. His biggest concerns are exams and hanging out with his school crush Lucy (engagingly played by ‘Game of Thrones’ star Maisie Williams), until she’s violently assaulted when her brother offends the local thugs.
When Tom is shot in the head during the attack, he survives, but with smartphone fragments embedded deep inside his brain. The consequence? A gnarly scar and the kind of trippy augmented-reality experience a Google Glass technician could only dream of. He can send texts, hack phones, start electrical fires and look up anything, from a face to how to land a killer punch, using just the power of his techy new brain. Racked with guilt for failing to protect Lucy, he uses his new upgrade to become a vigilante, wreaking havoc in a tech-obsessed world.
But at what cost? And, erm, what happens when iBoy needs a software update? ‘iBoy’ is a sparky film, embedded in London’s cheek-by-jowl world of wealth and poverty. It’s also a dark teen drama, peppered with brutal beatings, gang rape, drugs and dead bodies.