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Action/comedy score has its moments - just not nearly enough
A review by JAMES SOUTHALL
Music composed by
* * 1/2
Get Smart theme
Album running time
Album cover copyright (c) 2008 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.; review copyright (c) 2008 James Southall.
I am probably the only person in the world who has never heard of the "classic tv show" Get Smart - I guess I really should spend more time availing myself of 1960s pop culture - so I can't get too excited that it's had a big-screen makeover starring Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway. I'm sure there are laughs galore (how could there not be, when we're talking about a film from the director of Anger Management and The Longest Yard?) but am willing to sacrifice my seat in the cinema to enable someone else to get in. Trevor Rabin doesn't seem to get the big films he used to (National Treasure and its sequel excepted), but his power anthems can be appealing when they're done well and, as a mark of how much things have changed over the last ten years, even though his music is much the same now as it was then, it's almost a sense of relief to see him attached to this and not some Remote Control Z-lister.
Unfortunately the relief doesn't last all that long - specifically, about as long as the period of time in between extracting the CD from the packaging and pressing "Play" - because it really isn't very good. Yes, there's a power anthem (who knew?) in "Smart Dreams" to open the album, but it's got such a cheap, synthetic sound it's just a little embarrassing; and when the (no doubt) "classic" theme by Irving Szathmary comes on, the volume needs to go right down in case someone should hear what you're listening to.
The softer moments of the score are far better. The "suspense" of "Cake Factory" is amusingly-done (presumably deliberately) and when the National Treasure action licks kick in, it's really good fun, as Rabin is when at his best. The secondary theme (heard a few times - including "Max Takes a Bow") is the score's best, a close cousin of Rabin's work on the Disney World ride Mission: Space (easily the best thing he's ever written - but frustratingly unreleased). The score does have its moments - some of it is really good fun - but the album is a bit fragmentary and the main theme from the tv show is just incredibly irritating, so it might be for Rabin completists only.