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Another 48 Hrs
  • Composed by James Horner
  • Scotti Bros. / 38m (score 20m)

1982’s 48 Hrs directed by Walter Hill was one of the decade’s earliest buddy cop movies (a genre which proved surprisingly popular during that era), launched the big-screen career of Eddie Murphy and was the most successful movie by far by that point for the young composer James Horner. His extremely unusual score, blending gritty action music with steel drums, sax and electric bass, was later heard also in Commando and Red Heat – and one last time when the gang came together again in 1990 for the belated sequel, Another 48 Hrs.

Again Horner essentially focuses entirely on the film’s action components, bringing his previous score off the shelf and adapting it to fit the new surroundings. The live percussion is perhaps a little more refined – but the drum machine was nearing the end of its days and must have sounded like quite a throwback even in 1990. The composer’s favourite shakuhachi flute is heard frequently, and the big action cue “King Mei Shootout” also features some really interesting synth textures and is arguably the best single cue in either of these scores. There are only four Horner cues on the album though, it’s very rare and expensive these days and so I would suggest for completists only.

Rating: ** 1/2

Also see:
48 Hrs James Horner
Red Heat James Horner | |

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