Swan Song stars Mahershala Ali (Green Book) as Cameron Turner, who’s terminally ill. But he’s trying to find a way round that.
The film is set in the near future, in a time of self-driving cars, and feeling rather like an episode of Black Mirror from the trailer.
Early on, we see how concession units on trains are automated, but there’s much more to technology than that. Plus, while on that train, he meets Poppy (Naomie Harris), who talks to her friend on the phone in French, and he tries to crack on to her by sharing a chocolate bar.
Fast-forward an indeterminate amount of time, the pair are a couple and they have a young son, but that’s when reality comes crashing in and he passes out whilst in the bathroom, but doesn’t want to let slip his condition.
But… tech whizz Dr. Jo Scott (Glenn Close) to the rescue, who has a cunning plan that might just allow him to live forever… sort-of. She’ll create a double of him which can act and behave exactly like him, learning new memories as it grows, even to the point where it doesn’t even know that it’s NOT Cameron.
What can go wrong?!
Along the way, we learn there’s only two other units out there like his potential replacement, and he meets one in Kate (Awkwafina), who’s the only one we come across, making me wonder why that statistic was drummed out.
Swan Song is interesting to see when Cameron has conversations, effectively, with himself; and the plot throws one or two curveballs at times. However, on the downside, it’s quite a slow-burner, and I think that at almost two hours, they could easily wrap this up in 90 minutes, since certain plot points drag on too long.
As an aside, Jo operates from a secret facility in the woods, but it’s ridiculously huge! Doesn’t she have to declare that to the taxman? And I wonder how much this would actually cost? Well, neither of these were answers I’d discover during my time in his world.
Swan Song is on Apple TV+ from Friday December 17th, but isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
Running time: 112 minutes
Release date: December 17th 2021
Studio: Apple TV+
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Director: Benjamin Cleary
Producers: Mahershala Ali, Rebecca Bourke, Jonathan King, Jacob Perlin, Adam Shulman, Mimi Valdés
Screenplay: Benjamin Cleary
Music: Jay Wadley
Cameron / Jack: Mahershala Ali
Poppy: Naomie Harris
Dr. Jo Scott: Glenn Close
Andre: Nyasha Hatendi
Dalton: Adam Beach
Rafa: Lee Shorten
Cory (Age 8): Dax Rey
Cory (Age 5): Aiden Adejuwon
Cory (Age 2): Ace Lever
Cameron (Age 5): Cayden Shena
Alex: Jayr Tinaco
Julie: Jessica Hayles
Sammy: Mikayla Lagman
Cameron’s Mom: Celia Aloma
Rob: Luke Camilleri
Elderly Woman on Train: Christi La Liberté
Cameron / Jack Acting Double: Shane Dean
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.