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Man on a Ledge
  • Composed by Henry Jackman
  • Summit / 2012 / 36:35

There’s a man on a ledge in Man on a Ledge.  The man in question is Sam Worthington and the reason he spends a whole movie on a ledge is so that he can distract the police from the break-in at the diamond merchant over the road.  The composer on the ledge is Henry Jackman, whose career to date has been a mixture of decent music for animations and disappointing music for live-action films, a sequence which sadly is not broken here.  The model seems to be Harry Gregson-Williams’s music for Tony Scott – which is not really the best choice of model.  Lots of percussion loops play over innocuous string noodling.  It’s not the sort of music I’d want to hear if I were standing on a ledge.

Come to think of it, it’s also not the sort of music I’d want to hear if I weren’t standing on a ledge.  And – as it happens – I am currently not standing on a ledge.  There is occasionally some reasonably tense action music, the most notable example coming very near the end in “Good Cop Bad Cop” – it’s standard Remote Control stuff, but works well and had the whole score been like it, the album would have been much more palatable.  Instead, for the most part the tension is attempted through the most banal mechanisms (those drum loops) and it’s very tired-sounding stuff; I daresay it does its job in the film, but it does very little away from it.  ** |

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