Film scores

Soundtrack review: Allies (Philippe Jakko – 2014)

Allies-2014-Cover
This movie score will remain in my memory for its emotional moments, not the action cues

 

“Allies” is another World War II epic, this time about a group of British soldiers dropped behind enemy lines. The composer is Frenchman Philippe Jakko and I was unfamiliar with his work until now.

The score starts quite easy on the
ears and I appreciated that. Even if it’s a war movie score, the gentle epic nature of beautiful cues like “Brothers” or “Harry’s moment” makes me really connect with “Allies”. The marching beats are subdued and the cues are very melodic and stirring. And since I’m already in such a good mood about this score, when a piercing violin opens “Troops in the fields” I like it even more. “Partisans” tries to channel some Hans Zimmer, I heard the strong echo of “Journey to the line” in the construction and sound of this cue. I don’t fault it for trying to emulate that masterpiece, because it’s actually a beautiful track. “German camp” is murky and suspenseful.

Unlike many war movie scores, “Allies” places urgency above drama. The battle cues don’t necessarily feel overly dramatic or epic, but alert and small scale. I imagine this happens because the movie focuses on a small group of soldiers. But with this general sensation, when the music does raise its voice and emotional level, you can hear it and feel it.

This score for me is all about the moments. The anguish I hear in “The ambush”, or the buildup of emotions in “Billy’s moment” and “Harry and Catherine”. This movie score will remain in my memory for its emotional moments, not the action cues. But the important thing is that I have enough to take from it. Philippe Jakko wrote a sensible and enjoyable score that passes in a heartbeat.

Cue rating: 75 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 26 / 48

Album excellence: 55%

Highlights:

Brothers

Harry’s Moment

Troops in the Fields

Partisans

Billy’s Moment

Harry and Catherine

Traitor + Hero

 

 

About the author

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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