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  • Composed by Lorne Balfe
  • WaterTower / 2017 / 52m

A disaster movie in every sense of the word, Geostorm charts what happens when some climate control satellites go out of control, as Gerard Butler tries to stop the massive ensuing storm from destroying the world.  The film was the directorial debut of Dean Devlin, who worked on a few of these in his time as Roland Emmerich’s producer, but after terrible test screenings he was replaced by Danny Cannon and there were extensive reshoots.  One casualty of that was Pinar Toprak, a composer looking forward to working on easily the biggest film of her career so far; but under new producer Jerry Bruckheimer, inevitably the film went the way of Hans Zimmer’s studio, with Lorne Balfe getting the lead credit for this one.  The resulting score sounds largely as you would expect it to sound – it’s a modern Remote Control action score, with all that that entails, but there are one or two concessions to a slightly older (but I only mean a decade) sound with some attempts at anthems and themes that recall the days when at least scores like this tried to contain a bit of fun even if they were otherwise limited in ambition.

The main theme that opens the album in “Nature Warning” is quite sombre (and has an odd Arabic sound at times) but not long after the main action theme appears and it’s pretty decent.  When Balfe hurls obnoxious abrasive synth drums all over it (as in “Hong Kong Falling”) it rather ruins it, but there are times when it’s allowed to breathe a bit and those times are by far the album’s most enjoyable.  “The Take-Off” is actually really good – while it sounds cheap, it has a large scope and is the closest the score comes to sounding really big.  Unfortunately the action material is generally less pleasant than that and even when the Jason Bourne ostinato comes out (as it was always likely to do), it’s under a wall of samples and synths and it’s hard to get particularly worked up by it.  All things considered, Geostorm isn’t bad I guess, but we’ve heard it all so many times before I can’t imagine it will leave much of an impression on most listeners.

Familiar modern action score | |

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