Deadline recently reported that Michael Bay is making a new movie about the Coronavirus pandemic while in the pandemic. The film is titled Songbird because, oooh metaphor, and takes place a couple of years in the future in a world in which COVID is still going strong. In fact, it has mutated into something worse than ever before, and the reason it persisted is that lockdowns were rolled back too quickly. I guess the title is the only thing even close to subtle about this movie.
It's hard to know how to feel about this. On the one hand, it's encouraging to see any form of art being created right now. That a bunch of film workers will now have a gig is a bonus and, if the production can remain safe (and that if is a major sticking point here), then more power to them. On the other hand, the film's fictional dystopia is something that could become very real and very soon. It's one thing to make art that is reflective of society or captures a moment another to make a film about a new type of cancer called "Super Cancer" and then screen it in the cancer ward.
But we shouldn't be surprised that the guy who's famous for making $147 million dollar toy commercials would be fine producing a film that exploits our current anxieties. But let's get back to that "if" from earlier because that's what makes this thing truly bizarre. This is a movie that is extolling the virtues of maintaining lockdown during a pandemic. However, production is scheduled to begin in five weeks, which, hey, look at that, is still right in the middle of our goddamn lockdown.
Oh, Michael Bay, just when we thought you couldn't sink yourself lower, you've grabbed the limbo bar and snapped it in half. Maybe, in deft enough hands, there's a world in which a thriller about Coronavirus could tastefully be made. Michael Bay does not possess those deft hands. Michael Bay's hands are the ones pushing down the lever on the box labeled "TNT," and there's a good chance this blows up in his face Wile E. Coyote-style.
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