Final Musings: 2012 starts off with a very great swashbuckling adventure score. Whereas the first score was an refreshing entry into the genre that brought back the glory of symphonic adventure scores of the past, Andrew Lockington takes that sound and expands it to offer a more unique and well rounded score. While it has it is not without its fair share of minor faults, you can’t help but think with greater themes, new musical colours and thrilling action material, Lockington seriously delivers to meet the high expectations made of him. Listeners will not finish this score unimpressed.
It’s clear that today’s films have generally come to focus less on stimulating narratives and more on visual spectacles (as shown clearly by successful blockbusters like Transformers). And in that case, what better place is there to exploit than the fantastical worlds of Verne’s creations? Unfortunately, the modern film adaptations are certain to make Verne turn in his grave. The former film, Journey to the Center of the Earth was only worthy of some note due to its special 3D release. And with an inherently flawed plotline and its shallow characters, the film was clearly an excuse for shoving a bunch of colourful CGI shots in the faces of the mainstream audience. Avoiding the unspoken laws of Hollywood commercial flicks, the summer success of the film would have the studios demand a sequel that would milk out any marginal potential profit the premise still had left. There was little ambition for the film to begin with, having a completely new cast that included Dwane Johnson (aka the Rock) and surprisingly veteran actor Michael Caine, the plotline follows Sean’s (the only recurring character) venture to a mysterious uncharted island while bonding with his new stepfather as a family experience. As expected, the sequel was frowned upon by critics and suffers from an even greater lack of redemptive entertainment value.
While the film may have nothing salvage, lovers of film music did have a great score to look forward to. Returning to the franchise is the relatively newcomer Andrew Lockington. The young Canadian composer started from his humble beginnings as an orchestrator (having worked for the likes of Mychael Danna) and quickly rose to prominence. In a time where generic films like these were treated with bland scores that followed the trends of the composers of Zimmer’s clone army, Media Ventures (or rather Remote Control Productions), Lockington made a surprising burst into the industry with his two excellent scores for 2008’s Journey to the Center of the Earth and The City of Ember. 2008 was a big year for the composer where a great fan base flocked to the fresh and vibrant sound of his music. Interestingly enough, his major foray into the industry was not unlike the monumental success of David Arnold’s own entry. Read the rest of this entry »