- Composed by John Powell
- Lakeshore Records LKS 341942 / 2010 / 40:11
Naomi Watts and Sean Penn star in Fair Game, the latest film about Iraq – and the third so far to have been scored by John Powell, though this one is largely to do with political rather than military matters. The public shows little appetite for films on this subject so far, but reviews for this (directed by Doug Liman) have been pretty strong. Powell has scored most of Liman’s previous films, which have varied in quality from The Bourne Identity through to Jumper. Powell’s scores have been pretty consistent (Bourne of course was a seminal moment in his career) and he clearly likes working with Liman – though there are certain signs in Fair Game that his style for this sort of movie is becoming a little tired.
This is a thriller, but obviously a very different one from the Bourne films and the like – and it calls for rather low-key, rather serious music. There are a few moments of action, Powell’s music becoming very percussive and pretty impressive (though familiar) – but much of the score consists of very slow synth-dominated soundscapes, sometimes accompanied by electric guitar – it’s certainly atmospheric, it’s probably effective, but it’s not particularly entertaining. There are exceptions – when the composer adds an ethnic tinge, the music suddenly becomes much more interesting, and the edgy “Breaking Point” is excellent. The score certainly has its moments, but is frankly just a bit dull by this composer’s high standards – he pretty much seems to have two “sounds” (the animations and the thrillers) and while he’s brilliant at both when at his best, it would be nice to see him branch out into something slightly different. **