April 2003 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Gary S. Dalkin
Managing Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

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Music composed by Graeme Revell
  Available on Varèse Sarabande VSD 302 066 448 2
Running Time: 40:09
Crotchet   Amazon UK   Amazon US


The inconsistent Graeme Revell continues to confound and confuse his critics and admirers alike. For every classy, imaginative score there is another that is a tired, bland exercise in professionalism and the truth is that when approaching a new work by this particular composer the coin is always in the air. Thankfully, here we find Mr. Revell once again reminding us that he has real talent for melodic and emotional invention as he creates a real sense of anticipation with his opening ‘Daredevil Theme’, a slow-burn, darkly heroic anthem that kicks things off in sterling style. Personally, this is one of those cases where I would have liked to hear just a little more of this stirring theme used throughout the score, but the few times it does reappear it certainly has real impact. In the film itself a good deal of screen time was handed over to a number of rock songs of varying quality, some of which admittedly worked quite well, but it’s Revell’s bold, gritty music, complete with electric guitar and electronic effects to supplement the orchestral material, that gives the entire enterprise its dramatic weight. While there are occasions when the synth work becomes just a little overbearing, as on ‘The Kingpin’, the music nevertheless always remains effective. At other times a Thomas Newmanesque piano piece (‘Young Matt’s Father’ etc.) conveys a more intimate side to the story, but in the main this is a robust, edgy soundtrack that manages to retain the interest throughout without ever quite becoming something truly exceptional.

An engaging main theme and some lively action/suspense scoring herald a welcome return to form for this composer and make this one well worth checking out.

Mark Hockley

 ***(*) 31/2

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