- Composed by Andrew Lockington
- WaterTower Music / 2012 / 65:44
Despite being rubbish, the 2008 version of Journey to the Centre of the Earth made a load of money, so here is the sequel, with its cringeworthy punny title. By all accounts it is also rubbish, but it has also made a load of money. The previous film was by far the most successful to that point scored by Andrew Lockington and he returns for the sequel – “Orchestrated and conducted by Nicholas Dodd” is all the clue you need about how it sounds. It sounds big. It’s orchestrated to the hilt, masses of musicians playing or singing away till the cows come home. What separates the wheat from the chaff when it comes to these Dodd-orchestrated scores is the underlying dramatic sense; and the quality of the melodies. David Arnold has good instincts as a film composer and can certainly write a tune, but take away those two elements and it can end up sounding a bit soulless. Lockington seems to be somewhere in the middle of the two extremes – the themes here do just enough to leave a bit of pleasure while they’re on, but I’d challenge anyone to remember any of them after they finish.
The action music is what rescues the score, and fortunately there’s plenty of it – while it too is somewhat generic, it certainly has enough dramatic movement in it to leave a bit of a mark, and I know that cues like “Helicopter Crash” and “Lizard Chase” are just the kind of thing which will press a lot of people’s buttons, with the fast pace and undoubted enthusiasm on show. Then you take a cue like “Who’s Up for an Adventure?” which is centred around a classic adventure film melody, seems to have some real energy and buzz about it – and it isn’t alone by any means on the album by being like that – and then I’m left wondering just what exactly it is that means I honestly can’t imagine ever listening to this album again after finishing this write-up. I don’t know – it just somehow feels a bit empty. It pushes the buttons it wants to push, but ends up just seeming like a fairly hollow experience to me. Even the best parts have been done better in so many other, very similar scores that I just can’t think what it is about Journey 2 that might make someone take it off the shelf ahead of Stargate or The Mummy or whatever. I’m sure that plenty of people will enjoy it – and it undoubtedly contains some music of quality – it just doesn’t quite connect with me as much as I keep thinking it should. ***