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Soundtrack review: The last legion (Patrick Doyle, 2007)

Composer of the month Patrick Doyle month

Soundtrack review: The last legion (Patrick Doyle, 2007)


“The last legion” is a 2007 film loosely based on the historical collapse of the Western Roman Empire, which is seasoned with legends from the history of Britain and fantastical elements from the King Arthur stories. I expected an epic score and the beginning doesn’t disappoint. With “Sacred Pentangle” and “Coronation”, Doyle nails the sound I had in mind for such a story. Percussion plays a big part and the orchestra moves with the precision of a Roman legion. I love the beginning of this score and it makes me hopeful for the rest of it.
Unfortunately, the epic feeling slowly fades away once the excitement of the opening wears off. The music, though enjoyable, doesn’t have any sparkle. I flows away quietly in the background and I don’t feel I’m listening to a score for a movie involving Romans, knights and magic swords. But even when he’s not as exciting as usual, Doyle still entertains. This score never goes into that zone where I would have to skip tracks.
I had to wait until “Sword play romance” to feel like I love this score again. It is a very short cue, but it’s more entertaining than the few tracks that came before. It’s a beautiful bittersweet violin based melody. It’s the beginning of a satisfying end for the score. “Death of Vortgyn” is one of those gems that make listening to any kind of score worthwhile. This is what I was looking for in “The last legion”, a triumphant, epic, crushing cue like this one. It has a march, it has a choir and it has power. “No more war” sends off the score on a beautiful and melancholic tone.
“The last legion” won’t be in my Patrick Doyle top 10 at the end of the month, not by far, and I probably won’t revisit it. Still, the listening experience was worth my time, and Doyle’s craft makes me leave this score with a pleasant sensation.
My ratings:
Cue rating: 68 / 100
Total minutes of excellence: 16 / 51
Album excellence: 32%
Cues to listen to:
Sacred Pentangle
Sword Play Romance
Death Of Vortgyn
No More War
Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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