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  • Composed by Harry Gregson-Williams
  • La-La Land Records / 2010 / 42:22

Tony Scott’s latest thriller with Denzel Washington, Unstoppable attracted reasonable reviews.  This time, Denzel has to battle to stop an unmanned train which is hurtling towards disaster at 70mph.  For the music, Scott turned as usual to Harry Gregson-Williams, his composer-of-choice for over a decade now.  Few things in life are as predictable as a Harry Gregson-Williams score for a Tony Scott film – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, I guess.  I suppose the only real argument is over whether, actually, it is broke (or was ever there in the first place) – the music generally provides atmospheric accompaniment to the tension inherent in the films rather than doing much on its own, so inevitably most of these scores do a reasonable job in the film but don’t offer much entertainment on album.

Melody, of course, isn’t to the fore – an occasional piano or string line is allowed to permeate the dense synthetic atmosphere, but really that’s not what the composer is aiming for.  Drum loops and tight, swirling little motifs are the order of the day.  If you’ve got the composer’s other scores for the director, then this is just more of the same – and in terms of music for taut Hollywood thrillers made in this century, this is pretty much the only style one tends to hear – Gregson-Williams does it as well as anyone, but the bar is not exactly set very high.  Personally I just find the whole thing rather boring, but then I am after all a crusty old fart, so I’m probably not the target audience.  **

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