The Reel Review

F

This dystopian thriller is set in Los Angeles in 2024, where a more virulent COVID-23 pandemic has decimated the global population and apparently turned survivors into complete assholes. A COVID-immune bike messenger (K.J. Apa) tries to save his would-be girlfriend (Sofia Carson) from being hauled off to a “Q Zone,” where the infected are left to die.

K.J. Apa in Songbird.

Leave it to tone deaf producer Michael Bay (Armageddon, the Transformers franchise) to try to profit from tragedy with an icky trollfest about a pandemic most of us would sooner like to forget. Had this even been a decent film with some sort of message, it might partially have passed the smell test. Instead, we are stuck with one of the most abhorrently tasteless, straight-to-video stinkers ever to haunt a streaming platform. The vast majority of characters in this pointless movie are just plain gross and profoundly unlikeable.


The ridiculous, thread-bare plot isn’t even passable as a story, with a line up of phoned-in performances from Demi Moore, Bradley Whitford, Alexandria Daddario (Baywatch), Paul Walter Hauser (Richard Jewell) and Lia McHugh (The Lodge). Songbird truly is one of the poorest excuses for a film ever made.

REEL FACTS

• Shot over a two and a half week period, Songbird is one of the first films inspired by and filmed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

• SAG-AFTRA temporarily issued a “DO NOT WORK” order on Songbird, telling its members to refuse any work on the film, due to incomplete agreement paperwork and a lack of transparency regarding safety procedures.


• Jenna Ortega (Yes Day) saw her role in Songbird end up on the cutting room floor.

 

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