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Decent thriller score from the Brothers Danna
A review by JAMES SOUTHALL
Music composed by
MYCHAEL DANNA & JEFF DANNA
* * * 1/2
Album running time
Album cover copyright (c) 2007 New Line Records; review copyright (c) 2007 James Southall
Starring Anthony Hopkins, Fracture is a surprisingly good Grisham-style legal thriller directed by Gregory Hoblit. Since making the jump from television (where he directed most of Steven Bochco's better shows over many years), Hoblit has had an eclectic directorial career, and this has extended to his composers - he has never used one more than once, but has developed quite a list of capable collaborators, including James Newton Howard, Tan Dun, Michael Kamen and Rachel Portman. For Fracture he turned to the Danna Brothers, Mychael and Jeff, who both have successful solo scoring careers but choose to work with each other from time to time (this is their seventh joint score).
It opens splendidly, with the beautiful "The Rube" and "Mrs Smith" presenting some fine music for piano and strings which is quite scintillating in its own way, first-rate thriller music. This is a reasnoably eclectic score, however - "Beachum" features some electronic percussion which is more typical of the genre, but this is combined with more classy orchestral material - the orchestral part goes beyond the pale, but the music just seems to be a little cheapened by the electronics. I guess that was deliberate, but it can be a little disconcerting.
A beautiful romantic theme is introduced in "Call Me Later" - it keeps a slightly modern edge but has that classically refined feel to it which always adds a nice sheen. "Bedside Vigil" is another beauty - no romance this time, but it's full of different emotions (the predictable ones for a cue titled "Bedside Vigil") - it's high-quality music. "I Haven't Decided Yet" sees a return to the slightly grungy action style, this time with a drum kit accompanying the orchestra (and electronics). The lengthy "I Decided When It Gets Pulled" is the most exciting action cue, with some excellent, dark brass work which really sets the juices flowing.
The eclectic style works surprisingly well - despite the contrasting style and emotions, there is a very consistent feel to the score. At times it is compelling - some of the orchestral music really is very fine indeed - but it just lacks a certain spark to put it up with the best work of either of these composers. Still, it remains an engaging thriller score and comes recommended.