July 29, 2012

Action Breakdown #7: Action Movie Scores

Action movies can be a very visual experience, but it can be quite the audio experience as well. As much as action scenes can help create excitement and tension, action movies need a great score to accompany them to help build that tension. On this edition, we take a look at some of the action genre’s best movie scores.

Speed: One of my favorite action movies, Speed, also contains probably one of the most exciting pieces of audio stimulation ever. Mark Mancina infuses such excitement in the score to Speed that whenever you hear it you literally start to feel your adrenaline rush through your body.

Die Hard: The Die Hard franchise has also exhibited some great scores. Take “The Battle” from the original Die Hard which workss wonders in the ongoing battle between Gruber and McClane, Die Hard with a Vengeance also features a great rendition and use of “The Ants Go Marching” that any person can use as they enter a room to command everyone’s attention.

Lethal Weapon: What sets the Lethal Weapon franchise against the other big franchises is the choice of a jazzy score. The sound of the saxophone along with the buddy cop duo of Murtaugh and Riggs gives it sort of a noir feel at times which can work wonders in terms of the atmosphere.

Crank: The Crank series have some of the most kickass music in recent time. The score is just hardcore to the max and you feel like the need to beat up some scumbags or bang Amy Smart in public (not necessarily Amy Smart). Mike Patton does a great job on the score for Crank: High Voltage. He cranks (no pun intended) the volume to 100 and gives the film an added dose of cocaine.

John Williams: The man. The icon. His score to the Indiana Jones franchise alone set him amongst the best ever. Pure definition of iconic music.

First Blood: Goldsmith’s score for First Blood is pretty underrated in terms on how it contributes to the first film. The “Home Coming” score is a very somber tune while having a subtle militarized tone to it as well which help build up Rambo’s character. When it quickly gets to action mode, it is pulse pounding and helps build the tension as Rambo faces off against the police in the woods. A work of art. His score for Rambo: First Blood Part II is just pure Americana that will have you chanting USA! All day long.

So there you have some of the best action movie scores out there right now with plenty of other worthwhile additions like the music to Predator, Total Recall, and Broken Arrow.


About the Author

My name is Omar and I love action movies. I grew up loving action films thanks in part to my father who would deliver a healthy dose of Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Willis, and Seagal in my movie diet. Ever since then, I continue to love the genre more and more and go along perfectly with my love for the horror genre. What other movie genre can specialize in giving you pure adrenaline and excitement in every turn?



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