[3 stars]

What better way to mark the lifting of so many pandemic restrictions than by watching a flick about what might have happened (or may still) if things swing in the other direction? Songbird is one of those inevitable movies based on the current disaster…and it makes about as much sense as a rushed-to-market flick can do. Basically, it’s a suspense/action/romance that traces three intersecting tales.

The primary thread follows K.J. Apa (The Hate U Give, Cul de Sac) and Sofia Carson as separated lovers. They are the heart of the tale, literally, and are about as sappy as you probably think they are.

In parallel, Bradley Whitford (Godzilla: King of Monsters) and Demi Moore (Brave New World) are an established couple trying to hold on to what they have and protect their daughter during the decay of society. They’re a bit arch, but Moore manages to find some interesting moments and levels.

And, finally, there is the odd internet relationship of Paul Walter Hauser (BlacKkKlansman) and Alexandra Daddario (Baywatch) that is intensely disturbing and uplifting at the same time.

And tying them all together is Peter Stormare’s (American Gods) power-drunk official.

The performances are all fine. And they even all work together well, though Whitford has done better and Hauser had a bit of a broken sort of structure to his story. But it will keep you watching and curious as to the path to the inevitable outcome.

I have to say that I could, by squinting, make sense of the title, but it really isn’t a great moniker…and, because of one of the main threads, it’s actually more confusing rather than, perhaps, dual meaning-ed.

Director and co-writer Adam Mason did fine, but a bit more time honing the tale to get it tighter and work through some of the problematic logic wouldn’t have hurt. As it is, it’s a good B-grade flick for a rainy night or afternoon. But not much more.

Songbird Poster

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