Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Past Spotlight-The Hunt For Red October Score Review

Title: The Hunt For Red October

Composer: Basil Poledouris

Length: 30 minutes

Track Count: 10 tracks

Year Of Release: 1990

Film Synopsis: In 1984, the USSR's best submarine captain in their newest sub violates orders and heads for the USA. Is he trying to defect, or to start a war?

Hello! I'm enjoying writing about older scores, so after discovering this little one, I thought it necessary to post something about it up here! Basil Poledouris's score for the film The Hunt For Red October received mixed reviews, but I'm willing to stick it out and see what I think of it! Does it succumb to common action score cliches, or does it make it's own mark? Let's see!

It feels quite basic, the whole score. The brass doesn't do anything too spectacular, the strings play some predictable and repetitive riffs, especially through the first few pieces, both which run for a fairly long time. I will admit, I did enjoy the vocal showcase that took place throughout the first piece. It wasn't exactly memorable, but it was enjoyable. That said, this score doesn't offer too much you haven't already heard, if you've gotten around to listening to a good amount of action scores. Most of the cues succumb to slow build ups, and non-satisfying climaxes, which makes a good deal of the score a grind. There are a few pieces which sound original and have some riffs which don't sound textbook, but these have to be some of the shortest cues on the track list!

There are some intense and gripping pieces. Whilst they are few and far between, they still exist! One of the stand outs had to be Chopper, which had the percussion on display. Poledouris certainly excels here, and it's good to see! And on the other end of the spectrum, there are some bland and uninteresting pieces, such as Two Wives. It doesn't seem to know it's tone, and it never seems to go anywhere! There is such a contrast between the great and the not so great! There are some pieces which don't do anything for me, and yet there are some which will stick in my head for days!

Basil Poledouris certainly tries his best to make something that sounds original and complex, and for a good half of the score, he really does! There is just a lot of the piece, that while decent enough, doesn't really appeal to me. It's not exactly a typical 90's action score, I'll give Poledouris that. This still doesn't make me enjoy it any more. I can see myself slipping this on if I'm really bored and want a little kick, as it's only 30 minutes, but I don't see a whole heap of replay value.

Putin's Demise 
Ancestral Aid

Individual Piece Scores:
Hymn To Red October-76
Nuclear Scam-70
Putin's Demise-86
Course Two-Five-Zero-43
Ancestral Aid-92
Two Wives-58
Red Route I-84
Plane Crash-77

Junkie Score: 74.2

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