Alan Silvestri month Composer of the month

Soundtrack review: Beowulf (Alan Silvestri – 2007)

beowulf
I think I didn’t believe the score and that’s why I couldn’t connect with it.

Beowulf is a Robert Zemekis film based on the famous Old English poem and hero. The movie was filmed completely with special effects and computer generated characters.

Alan Silvestri went all out of the score and filled it with epic cues, unforgiving choirs and thundering rhythms. It takes a while (some 4 cues) for me to warm up to his style. Usually, an epic score gets me from the beginning. This one though felt a little too synthetic to me in the beginning. I guess I just needed to adjust to the sound, same as with the images of the movie. I was also a little bothered by the guitar riffs which accompanied the choirs, because for me, guitar has no place in an epic orchestral cue.

Another problem I had with “Beowulf” is that the epic cues are too short. Not too much epicness to be created in under two minutes. Halfway through the score, I’m still having trouble feeling it. Maybe the longer cues from the second half will fare better. I am starting to get a Lord of the rings feel when I hear “Second Grendel attack”, but not the awesome parts of LOTR, just the normal ones which I don’t listen to very often.

I think I didn’t believe the score and that’s why I couldn’t connect with it. I’m giving another try to the two monster cues from the end, “Beowulf slays the beast” and “He was the best of us”. They are long, 6 minutes, and hold a lot of promise. The score finally delivers, but even so, it’s nothing I haven’t heard before. “Beowulf” ends up as a very puzzling listen to me, but I will surely give it another try later.

Cue rating: 62 / 100

Total minutes of excellence:  13 / 47

Album excellence: 29%

Highlights:

I’m Here To Kill Your Monster

I Did Not Win The Race

Beowulf Slays The Beast

A Hero Comes Home (End Credits Version)

 

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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