Wednesday, 13 November 2013


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It's time for a soundtrack review, which I intend to do weekly, and tonight I have chosen a score for a very good movie CAPTAIN PHILLIPS.

There are two approaches to soundtrack critique: one is how suitable, how well it works in a movie, and the second - is it a good standalone listening? I will always choose the latter, for when you buy a soundtrack, or borrow or whatever, you commit your time to listen to it, and you expect to listen to an ALBUM, not a supplement to something, which I believe a movie soundtrack never is. When done right, it becomes a character in a film and guides us through, manipulate us in a good way and makes us deeper involved in what is happening on screen.

Henry Jackman had grown on me over  the years with his fabulous work on XMEN: FIRST CLASS, ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER and G.I. JOE: RETALIATION. He is one of the best action movie composer we know to date. But is CAPTAIN PHILLIPS an action movie? Or a better question - is an action movie score works well for a thriller drama based on real events?
In one reply yes, it does. The score to CAPTAIN PHILLIPS is one of the most innovative works Henry Jackman had done to date. Using Samali drum beats as the background he weaves in many unusual noises, such as footsteps, echoes and voices.  CAPTAIN PHILLIPS track often starts quietly, building up to a climax that is ticking like a clock - a sort of a time bomb. With its many nuances CAPTAIN PHILLIPS score is best listened with headphones on, this way you will not miss anything. From the playlist I will particularly recommend "Second Attack" and "Two In The Water", both equally imaginative and intense.

It doesn't require a great experience in music to tell that this work is a great step forward for Henry Jackman and a mix of artistic vision and pure action themes blends into a score that cannot be missed. As a movie CAPTAIN PHILLIPS is equally engaiging as it is draining. We simply have no emotions left to spare on the soundtrack. And maybe that why it makes such a great stand alone listening.

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