The Reel Review
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.
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.
• 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.