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A review by JAMES SOUTHALL
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Album cover copyright (c) 2008 Lions Gate Entertinment; review copyright (c) 2008 James Southall
On the one hand it's hard to imagine a less likely actor to appear as the hero in a comic-book adaptation than Robert Downey Jr. (well, Dame Edith Evans perhaps) but then, with them all having to have so many personal issues and convoluted backstories these days perhaps it's not so strange. I do find it strange that Jon Favreau, a really good comic actor, has ended up directing stuff like this - surely he could offer more to the world of entertainment by using his distinctive talents rather than doing something that frankly loads of people could do - but it's got reasonable reviews and will probably make a fortune, which is all that matters in the eyes of most.
Musically, it's yet another phoned-in score from Hans Zimmer's underlings, who no doubt worked very hard and are all very nice people, but on the evidence of this don't have any talent at writing film music so perhaps could find a new trade for themselves - but it will probably make them a fortune, which is all that matters in the eyes of most. When it comes to film music, that's the last thing that matters to me - of more interest is the fact that it is completely puerile garbage, as bad as film music gets - only the addition of Harald Faltermeyer to the troupe and the news that they're rescoring the entire collection of films made by David Lean could make me more disheartned than learning that yet another big-money blockbuster has gone the way of this talentless crowd.
The music? Well, you know what it's like. Electric guitars, drum kit, keyboards, maybe even an instrument or two that requires a little skill to play. Melody? Harmony? Counterpoint? Move along - nothing to see here. I've no idea whether Ramin Djawadi actually wrote the bulk of this or if he was just unfortunate enough that his turn to have his name on the CD cover coincided with this one, but I'm convinced that if I left the CD out in the sun then it wouldn't take long for it to start steaming and flies to be buzzing around. I can't believe that something like this could actually appear in anything other than a student film - I can't believe that Hans Zimmer, who does actually know how to score this sort of thing, continues to allow his name to be dragged through the mud by his association with scores such as this - I can't believe that I would ever reach the day when I was lamenting the fact that John Debney didn't get to score a film (he did Favreau's previous ones), but for his flaws he still has more talent in his little finger than anyone involved with this would seem to have - and I can't believe that I still get surprised by this sort of thing. When they compile a list of human sacrifices, I hope they remember the time I actually listened to this album all the way through to the end, just so I could write a review. Surely nobody else will make it that far.
(Before you send your email, I will pre-emptively concede that I am probably twice as old as the sort of person it's aimed at.)