- Composed by Alexandre Desplat
- Varese Sarabande / 2011 / 64:26
Despite becoming one of Hollywood’s most in-demand film composers, Alexandre Desplat still finds time to work on films from his homeland; having worked on the first film in 2008, he returns to score Largo Winch II (also known as The Burma Conspiracy), based on the French graphic novels by Jean Van Hamme and Philippe Francq. The album could hardly get off to a better start – a sexy opening, with more than a hint of John Barry and James Bond, and a phenomenal action track, “Largo Virtuoso”, which leaves one hoping that if at some point Desplat grows tired of working on countless multi-award-winning films which manage to combine genuine commercial success with overwhelmingly positive critical reaction (and who wouldn’t?), perhaps he might find the time to throw in some brainless thrillers.
After that amazing opening, unfortunately large periods pass by without a great deal really happening. Lengthy segments of suspense do little to engage the listener in the periods in between the brilliantly breathless, brassy action music (like “Infiltration”) or more upbeat action, with drum loops and such (“Escape from the Camp” is the kind of thing Alan Silvestri was probably trying to write in The A-Team, at least before it adopts that Barry/Bond swagger for its second half). Some of it is engaging – and indeed, some of it would be necessary to provide the breathing space which is always needed in action-heavy scores – unfortunately a reasonable amount of it is not. It’s powderpuff stuff by Alexandre Desplat standards, but the good material is so good that I can’t help but recommend this, even though the album (only actually released in stores in Europe, despite being on the American Varese Sarabande label) needs some real pruning to make it more satisfying. ***