Turbulence 2 - Fear of Flying
Now that The Matrix has really put Don Davis on the map, it remains
to be seen whether he will rise to the very top ranks of film composers or
merely settle into the middle order. And while this is a competent score
that will no doubt serve its film well, the jury is still out on that particular
question. For while at times it all degenerates into nothing more than a
somewhat repetitive, routine action/suspense score, once you get to the meat
of the work (from track 14 onwards) things really do pick up and by the end
I found myself pretty much won over.
The 'Main Title-Turbulence 2' is a very rhythmic, attention grabbing opening
and immediately I was involved and ready to be entertained. A softer, more
emotional theme is then introduced in 'Martin & Son' and up until this
point all was moving along rather well. But if ever a CD could be split into
contrasting halves in terms of quality it's this one. There is a long run
of very ordinary, standard suspense cues beginning with '1st Turbulence',
right through 'Passengers Passed Out' into the five minute plus 'Drugged
Ice/Bleeder'. Indeed the next five cues are much the same and I had almost
given up hope. But then subtly at first there seemed to be a shift in emphasis
and invention with first 'Romantic Freq 221, then 'Directions', another long
cue at over six minutes, but here the gradual build-up with variations in
pace and a pleasing hook creates a much stronger sense of drama and excitement.
'Cargo Trouble' is very much a continuation of 'Directions' with many of
the same motifs and the overall improvement is sustained until 'Tarmac Showdown',
an eight and half minute epic cue that forced me to reassess the entire score.
Signing off with an improved version of the 'Main Title' in 'Turbulence 2
Roll' which also incorporates a brief reprise of 'Martin & Son', the
score completes its mid-way transformation and managed to leave me surprisingly
satisfied. And at least with this score the synthesiser technology has been
used to better advantage than is often the case. But then Davis is very
experienced in making synths sound classy, even if I can't agree with director
David Mackay's sleeve note quote that this is an 'orchestral sounding score
that you'd never know was achieved entirely on a desktop'.
If you can get past the generic suspense cues that litter the first half
of the CD, there is more quality here than might be initially suspected.