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Pacific Rim Uprising
  • Composed by Lorne Balfe
  • Milan / 76m

Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim didn’t break any new ground but it was an entertaining spectacle and I guess its success meant a sequel was inevitable.  There’s no del Toro this time, with tv producer Steven S. DeKnight making his cinematic debut, and all the predictable things happen (including the reaction being far less positive this time round).  Ramin Djawadi wrote his most accomplished film score for the first film so it was a surprise that he didn’t come back for the sequel.  The Maze Runner‘s John Paesano was originally announced as Uprising‘s composer but was replaced fairly late in the day by Lorne Balfe – so I’m afraid you’ll all have to reset your “NUMBER OF DAYS SINCE LORNE BALFE WAS HIRED AS A LATE REPLACEMENT” calendars from 7 to 0.  Balfe is not having what might be described as a stellar year – his first two scores of 2018 didn’t garner a single star between them.  So I’m pleased to report that this one is far better.

I have to point out though that being hit 27 times in the head is far better than being hit 37 times in the head, and Pacific Rim Uprising is still absolutely awful.  There’s a track early on (“Born Into War”) that suggests it might turn out OK – a modicum of melodic interest, a bit of a Brian Tyler-style anthem – but that hope is short-lived.  For the most part it’s extremely loud percussion-heavy electronica, trying its best to be Tron: Legacy but failing to do any of the things that made that score so good.  A remix of Djawadi’s “Go Big Or Go Extinct” just hammers home just how much better his score was.  This is lowest-common-denominator stuff: there’s nothing distinctive about it, it doesn’t have a personality, it rarely seems to have any point at all other than just being noise which could have been accomplished by sound effects and if necessary then a bit of library music.  What makes it better than the composer’s other two recent releases is that at least there’s a bit of a sense of fun, but I realise I’m clutching at straws a bit.  I never thought I’d come to the day when I was bemoaning the fact that Ramin Djawadi didn’t return to a film franchise.  Actually, typing those words… jeez, things have got bad.

Rating: *

See also:
Pacific Rim Ramin Djawadi

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  1. Edmund Meinerts (Reply) on Monday 2 April, 2018 at 21:07

    If nothing else, when compared to its predecessor, this throws into sharp relief the fact – often not acknowledged by certain film score fans – that there is most certainly such a thing as a good and a bad Remote Control score.