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Extraction
  • Composed by Henry Jackman & Alex Belcher
  • BMG / 68m

Essentially one long action sequence, Extraction stars Chris Hemsworth sent on a mission to recover a kidnapped boy in Bangladesh. Violence ensues. Director Sam Hargrave is a long-time associate of the Russo Brothers (veterans of a number of stunt-laden action movies, such as Welcome to Collinwood and various episodes of Arrested Development) and Henry Jackman, who has worked on some of their less well-known pictures in the past, provides the score alongside his own long-time associate Alex Belcher, receiving full co-credit. I will say one thing for their score – it is certainly noisy and that is certainly what the film required. It’s full of all the things you might expect of a 2020 action score – and to give it its due, a few things you might not. For one, there’s an orchestra and it actually sounds like an orchestra (words I never would have imagined one day I would have to type as my chief compliment in a review when I started doing this).

The film could have supported an “organised chaos” score like Black Hawk Down and it isn’t really that – it’s a sequence of pretty indistinguishable ostinato-driven action pieces for the most part, with a heavy emphasis on percussion, with only the most occasional pause for breath, until a “Time” from Inception knock-off at the end. There’s not a theme as such, but there is a simple and effective little motif that runs through some of the action tracks that gives it a bit of personality. I don’t detect much of an overt acknowledgement of the film’s location (perhaps some of the percussion) but then I guess it doesn’t really need it. After the Inception cue there are two pieces presumably written Zimmer-style at the start of the scoring process then used to draw the body of the score from (and I have no doubt somebody will quickly correct me if I’m wrong), “Dhaka Suite” and “Solitaire Suite”, which are basically just much like a couple more score cues. While it is relentless and the album is clearly far too long, the score isn’t so intense that it becomes unpleasant; it works fine in the film and if this sort of music is your thing then this is an example of it being done well. Just not really my cup of tea.

Rating: **

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