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The Meteor Man
  • Composed by Cliff Eidelman
  • Intrada / 2014 / 71m

Written and directed by and starring Robert Townsend, The Meteor Man was a superhero comedy released in 1993, a time when the box office wasn’t quite so dominated by “serious” comic book movies, and it was a bit of a disaster; perhaps it would find more success in today’s environment.  Composer Cliff Eidelman was at surely the highest point of his career at the time, having written two fan-favourite scores in Star Trek VI and Christopher Columbus: The Discovery which are every bit as impressive as their reputations suggest.  For over two decades, his fans have clamoured for a release of The Meteor Man, putting it right up there with his two greats, and now we all have the chance to see why.  I can only speak for myself… but I find it very hard to see why.  In some ways the score ticks all the right boxes – it’s big and orchestral, it has a great energy, it’s colourful and fun; but in others, it just doesn’t work for me, as an album experience at any rate.

For one thing there’s the pretty blatant and very faintly-disguised homage to past scores / temp-track love / call it what you will.  Within the first ten minutes of the album, there are obvious “homages” to Superman, Jaws, The Abyss and Back to the Future, not to mention the composer’s own Star Trek music.  The latter is easily dismissed as a stylistic trait (and indeed the swirling action theme here which so closely resembles his previous score is impressive); the others, well, perhaps they make sense in the context of the film but they don’t do much for this listener – as with all retreads like that, they just make me want to listen to the original instead.  The extended Star Wars rip-off later in the score is outrageously forthright.  The oft-repeated main theme is fun enough but it’s little more than a brief fanfare – hear it once and that’s all you really need.  When the score becomes a little heavier (as in the consecutive action tracks “The Imposter”, “Jeff Catches Bullets” and “Forced Entry”) there are thrills to be had, but I’m surprised (given its reputation and the clamour for its release) that the bulk of the score is fast-paced mickey mousing with all those nods to other scores and if that’s your thing, fill your boots, but I think it’s lightyears short of Eidelman’s outstanding best work.

Rating: ** | |

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  1. orion_mk3 (Reply) on Monday 7 April, 2014 at 18:40

    What would your pick be for the best unreleased Eidelman score?

    • James Southall (Reply) on Monday 7 April, 2014 at 19:36

      I don’t know any! I was even more disappointed by Crazy People, the other one that people raved about that was released recently.

  2. Matt (Reply) on Monday 7 April, 2014 at 20:15

    I agree with you on this score. I was disappointed overall. Eidelman has had some great moments, but this score left me feeling like I wanted more and it didn’t deliver.