2020 has been quite the rough year, it’s been quite the dumpster fire of a year, without a doubt. Ultimately, we can all agree that 2020’s biggest antagonist has been COVID-19. COVID has made us as humans and a society change our way of life in many, many ways. Enter Songbird.
Here’s what you need to know about this flick. Songbird takes place in the year 2024, four years in the future in a barren, desolate Los Angeles. COVID-19 has evolved and mutated into COVID-23, an even deadlier, 100% mortality rate virus. Lockdown restrictions are still in place and are even harsher. Military checkpoints with armed soldiers, humvees and roadblocks. Even L.A.’s Department of Sanitation rolls around with armed guards making house calls for those who test positive. K.J. Apa, (who?) Who you might have seen in such things like Riverdale and The Hate You Give (that’s who), plays Nico in this flick. Nico is a courier for a company called Lester’s Gets, started by a man named Lester (Craig Robinson from The Office). As it turns out, Nico is a “ ‘muni,” no, not the San Francisco transit system – no, no! A ‘Muni is someone who is immune to the virus. Which is why he’s a courier, he’s immune to the disease so can he roam about the COVID coated world without wearing a mask (yay…) or fear of getting sick from the virus. However, Nico can still carry and transmit the disease, just by coming into physical contact with other’s who are in lockdown, so Nico needs to take extra precautions and be mindful of his actions! Nico’s got a girlfriend named Sara, played by Sofia Carson from Project Runway: All Stars and Descendants. Other, more notable cast includes Peter Stormare, Demi Moore, Bradley Whitford and one of my personal, most-recently-favorites Paul Walter Hauser who played Richard Jewell in the movie of the same name. A pretty star-studded cast, to be honest!
Now, here’s what I’ll say. Expectations are everything. If you’re going into this expecting the likes of movies such as Contagion, Outbreak, Carriers, The Road or even Cabin Fever, you’ll be sorely disappointed. I swear, that wasn’t a disease pun. The disease, COVID-23, isn’t the main antagonist in this movie, it’s not what is out to get you. If you’re expecting social commentary or a connection to our world’s very real current events, you’ll be disappointed, too. I mean, it’s there, a little bit, the social commentary, like, “ this is what happens when Karens, Kellys, Brads and Chads don’t wear their masks, stay at home and heed Health Officials’ advice,” but that’s really it. This movie does not really do any more than that. In fact, I’d say Songbird feels like a very scatter-brained person! One moment we’re doing something and a split second later we’re doing something completely unrelated to the thing we were just doing or watching. Like, it tried too hard to be too many things at once! Sure, it’s got some big names associated with it like Michael Bay and Demi Moore, oooo, and Songbird certainly feels and has some Purge-esque moments in it, but that’s my point – bits and pieces of something else all thrown into a crock pot to try to piece together something that’s just “Meh. It was alright.” Songbird is not a movie about the pandemic, but rather a romance drama that happens to take place during a pandemic. That’s it! A cheesy romance that takes place during a pandemic, which we’re all familiar with by now. That’s how this movie becomes relevant, the pandemic and COVID. If it wasn’t for
COVID-19, I don’t think this movie would exist! Songbird feels like one of those movies that exists just with that one story point piece (COVID in this instance) that makes it relevant to life as it is today, that exists just to exist and get money from us while we’re getting ready to go back into lockdown! An exploitation! It’s a movie that was made just because it could be made! Not that it should have been made. So, if you don’t watch Songbird and instead decide to toss it into the raging dumpster fire that is 2020, you’ll be alright. You’re not missing much!
Songbird was entertaining, at the very least. If you’re on lockdown and you’ve been tired of binge watching something else on Netflix, Disney +, Apple TV +, or whatever streaming platform, Songbird would be good to pass the time. Don’t watch it If you’re a germaphobe or someone with nosophobia, you’ll be worried sick if you aren’t already! I’m not a stickler when it comes to movies, like a majority of these other movie reviewers, but sometimes you just have to call it what it is! When it comes to entertainment value, I give Songbird a 2 out of 5 stars. When it comes to overall value, as a movie, I give Songbird a 3 out of 10 stars. If you happen to watch it, great, so long as you go into it with low expectations, you’ll come out of the movie alright.
Songbird will be available to stream via video-on-demand on Friday, December 11th, 2020 for a price point of $19.99. And remember, “stay safe, sane, and sanitized!”