Composer of the month Hans Zimmer month

Soundtrack review: Drop zone (Hans Zimmer – 1994)

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“Drop zone” is not among the Hans Zimmer scores I listen to often, but not for lack of trying. It’s just that it is very good, while a lot of others are amazing.

 

1990s was the decade of testosterone pumped action music from Hans Zimmer. He began with Black Rain and developed his style until it exploded in “The Peacemaker” or “Broken arrow”. The lowest profile score from this period, for me, was “Drop zone”, the Wesley Snipes skydiving movie. It’s a pleasure to get reacquainted with this lost gem during Hans Zimmer month.

The formula is the same: few cues but very long and well developed, lots of powerful guitars and pulsating rhythms. I don’t even feel the first cue “After the dub” pass, even if it’s 8 minutes long. It throws us right in the middle of the action, without warning, and I have to scramble to look for the parachute handle.

While writing action movie scores in that decade, Hans Zimmer could do no wrong. There is an obvious confidence in his music, each cue makes a statement of power and you have to believe it. There’s no sign of weakness in this score and even it shows that even when he doesn’t deliver a masterpiece, Hans does enough to make a score memorable. “Drop zone” isn’t at brilliant as “Crimson Tide”,  “Broken Arrow” or “The Rock”, but it’s as enjoyable.

The standout track of this score is “Too many notes / not enough rest”. This 10 minutes action extravaganza leaves you as exhausted as a 10 minute speed run. The score might not be the best of the 90s, but this cue is right up there with Zimmer’s most awesome action themes. It has heart, it has power and a solid identity given by a ripping guitar rhythm.

“Drop zone” is not among the Hans Zimmer scores I listen to often, but not for lack of trying. It’s just that it is very good, while a lot of others are amazing.

Cue rating: 80 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 28 / 37

Album excellence: 77%

Highlights:

After The Dub

Flashback & Fries

Hi Jack

Terry’s Dropping Out

Too Many Notes/Not Enough Rest

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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