3/10 After shards of a cell phone are embedded into a teenage boy’s brain during a shooting, he is able to control electronics and basically have super powers. The concept itself is rather interesting and indeed promising. Sadly, the execution fails to live up to the story’s potential. All of the characters are either unlikable and make really dumb decisions and/or are underdeveloped. There are some redeeming factors in regards to this movie. The movie starts strong as the story is established quickly. The pacing doesn’t waste any time and moves along at a nice pace. There are some directorial flairs that work, especially when iBoy’s super powers are first being established and we see what he sees. The cinematography and use of color earlier on in the movie really set the tone and are visually stimulating. Despite those accomplishments, if this movie were a phone battery, it would only be on 30% and in serious need of a charge, as there are a lot of elements that don’t work. Besides the problems with characters and their insanely stupid decisions, the acting across the board is rather mediocre and our two leads, Bill Milner and Maisie Williams don’t have a lot of chemistry together, despite being friends and romantic interests. The idea of being able to control electronics, hack into bank accounts, control phones, speakers, vehicles, etc. is barely touched upon. Instead of focusing on how you could literally change the entire planet with those powers and easily murder a ton of people, the movie often plays it for jokes by changing a radio station from rap music to opera. The script could have delved so much deeper into these elements and even given us social commentary on how connected our world is to electronic devices and our overdependence upon them but it never even attempts to. Another huge problem is how many coincidences there are. iBoy is always “randomly” stumbling upon the evil gang of kids who bully him at every turn. Is where they live really that small of an area? Perhaps the biggest problem comes in the form of all the inconsistencies. For example, while getting attacked by the gang, iBoy is somehow able to make an extremely high pitched siren go off in the heads of his attackers, stunning them and rendering them unable to do anything but crumble to the ground. It is never established where this noise is coming from, how he is able to amplify it and why it doesn’t bother him but it does bother everyone else. Those concerns aside, the real problem is that later in the film iBoy finds himself captured and in big trouble again. This time however, he doesn’t use that siren power to put his enemies down. Why not? We have no idea since it makes no sense. The main villain has no personality and the final way in which he is defeated just seemed super silly and out of the bounds of the established rules of what iBoy could do in terms of his powers. In the end, despite a few positive aspects earlier in the movie, this is a movie you should skip. It feels like a bad episode of “Doctor Who” and it rips off both “Batman Begins” and “Daredevil” since like both of those, there are scenes with iBoy standing high up on a rooftop, looking out at the city for crime to fight as well as a scene where he tracks some bad guys down to a loading dock with giant metal crates where illegal substances are being loaded and he must fight them. This unoriginal script will make you wish you had the powers iBoy has so you could turn your television or laptop off if this bad movie were to pop up.
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