The genre of films that concentrate on the spectacle of blood, broken bones
and bruises is represented by Corruptor. This film is a violent gutsy police
drama set in New York City's Chinatown, It has several more rounded characters
than you would normally expect in a film of this type with Hong Kong actor
Chow Yun-Fat's Chinatown cop and Mark Wahlberg's trainee as the pivotal players.
It achieves a visual quality of merit within the Chinatown locations and
director James Foley combines the colour of the locations with an equally
colourful expression of the story line.
Although we have seen the buddy film in many guises now ad nauseum this film
talks about the changing loyalties amongst the villains and police alike
and some interesting comparisons can be drawn from the behaviours of the
law enforcers and the criminals.
The composer of the music for the soundtrack of the film is CARTER BURWELL
. He counts "ROB ROY" as his third collaboration with Michael Caton-Jones,
having previously scored "This Boy's Life" and "Doc Hollywood." He has also
composed, arranged and produced the scores for a number of diverse projects,
including the award-winning HBO telefilm "And the Band Played On," and the
features "It Could Happen to You," "The Hudsucker Proxy," "A Dangerous Woman,"
"Kalifornia," "Buffy, The Vampire Slayer," "Storyville," "Barton Fink," "Raising
Arizona," "Psycho III" and "Blood Simple."
In addition to his screen work, Burwell has written and performed music for
several New York stage productions, including "Mother," "The Celestial Alphabet
Event" and "Mother Courage." He also wrote and performed the music for "Widows"
at the prestigious Williamstown Theatre Festival.
The music on the Corruptor CD has many oriental influences and captures
effectively the changing pace and mood of the Film.
The CD opens with The Corruptor theme , this is a haunting melody using cadence
to open the listener to the expectation of what is to come. Within the textures
created by Burwell are distinctive, almost Celtic anthems hinting at great
age and history. The use of indian tabla against breathy and strung instruments
is effective and unusual. Beneath The streets repeats the thematic haunting
melody of earlier with chinese percussion counterpointing cellos and the
building of tension. Release comes through the explosion of sound in a chinese
festival. Lamp Store Shootout again has the same build of tension with closed
cymbals, chinese orchestra and deep bass leading us into a soft descending
ending. Panty Raid brings some nicely articulated string parts reminiscent
of a zither with note bending. The central instrument complemented with breathy
flute sounds drops into Ginza shooting, where Burwell interweaves the preceding
themes across a more indirect cross rhythm. The Old Man is my personal favourite
on the CD, although only 1:02 in length there's such an intensity of feeling
in the first few strummed chords that it grabs and retains my attention.
Drug Raid, Death Drives Through Chinatown, He takes The Hook, A Plum, Chen
Betrayed, To The Ship, Human Cargo, Chen Shot, Funeral in Chinatown, Old
Happy and Corruptoid finish the track listing.
I enjoyed listening to this soundtrack and what I like particularly is the
inventive way the main theme is put into variation throughout the piece.
Burwell has incorporated some good guitar chops too, although I don't know
who is playing them. They remind me a bit of Joe Satriani's playing in between
his good bits! The overall sound and production of the work and the mix of
oriental percussion, strings and breath instruments is effective and interesting
to listen to.
Sit down with your beer and some prawn crackers and enjoy Carter Burwell's
sweet and sour interpretation of the film. This is one to take away.