In the main title for this IMAX documentary, Alan Williams (no relation to
you-know-who) stretches out with strings and horns sounding an evergreen
melody fashioned, some might say a little too closely, in the romantic style
of John Barry. Ask yourself, "A love theme for sharks?"
Okay, it is a love theme for the island. "Island of the Sharks" is a Large
Format motion picture detailing the underwater inhabitants of Costa Rica's
Cocos Island, including more sharks per cubic yard than maybe any other place
on Earth. Williams had the task of capturing the emotion of the undersea
exploration and the majesty of the largest uninhabited island -- and "the
most beautiful," in the words of Jacques Cousteau -- on the globe. Yet despite
the locale, and due to taking a musical path paved firmly before, the score
lacks a particularly exotic feel that would make it sound more like a trip
to an unsoiled tropical island than a trip to Miami Beach.
It remains recommendable, strong reservations aside, for its flashes of
individuality and its always-present heart. This is especially evident in
more equatorial-sounding tracks, where Williams shows a sense of bonhomie
that captures and involves the listener immediately. He handles the job
interestingly and entertainingly, the score smoothly shifts between moods,
doing well in contrasting likeable melodies with inimical outbursts to push
the score slightly above the norm.