Film scores

Soundtrack review: Tokarev (Laurent Eyquem – 2014)

I have been hungry for a great emotional revenge driven movie score and it’s been a while since I got a proper one

 

“Tokarev” is the latest in the long list of Nicolas Cage thriller by the numbers. According to the reviews the movie is not very exciting. The music was written by French composer Laurent Eyquem. I wasn’t familiar with his work so far but he is one of the most exciting up and coming composers.

The story in the movie is a tragic and unforgiving one and I feel that full force once the score finds its identity. After a percussion dominated beginning I find myself listening to a heartbreaking cue (“All  is lost, the funeral”). The haunting melody, the angelic child’s voice singing at the end and the overall mood of this cue gets to me. Somehow it hits the right chord inside me as does the next track “A box full of memories”.
The music has heart and when I hear that in a composition I am involved and I care for what it tells me. The sorrow is raw and intense in the music (“The pain” is another haunting piece) and it almost makes me want to watch the movie. I might not though, because I wouldn’t want a bad scene to ruin an amazing piece of music.

As the score progresses I feel it even deeper. The music is intense and piercing…. The Russian like choirs that come every now and then are haunting and fit right with the rest of the music and each cue pulls me even more into the story it tells. The entire score is heavy and depressing but with so much heart and depth that, paradoxally, it makes me happy. This chain is only broken by one amazing and determined action track “Room by room”. Nicolas Cage is probably tearing through walls trying to find the ones who kidnapped his daughter by the sound of this and I feel his immense rage.

It is very easy for composers these days to fall into the generic music trap but Laurent Eyquem navigates these complicated seas brilliantly. I must admit that I didn’t expect much from this score, seeing the movie it was for. I was sure it was going to be another generic action composition like tens of others from recent years but “Tokarev” towers above them. This is an exciting score, full of heart and it makes me dream of an amazing and intense movie where extreme violence and sorrow dance with each other and nothing is done with half a measure.

“Tokarev” is well worth a listen and it’s one of the very few cases when a score makes me extremely excited and involved in a movie I will probably not see. I have been hungry for a great emotional revenge driven movie score and it’s been a while since I got a proper one. Nice to meet you and well done Laurent Eyquem, I will be looking forward to your future works!

Cue rating: 89 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 26 / 40

Album excellence: 64%

Highlights:

All Is Lost, The Funeral

A Box Full Of Memories

The Pain

Room By Room

The Russians Get The News

You Killed My Brother

Confrontation

A Child Should Never Pay, Showdown

Death Sentence, The Clue

Tokarev

 

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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