Film scores perfect score

Soundtrack review: Spy game (Harry Gregson Williams – 2002)

SpyGame complete frt

I’ve mentioned along the way the scores that had the biggest influence in me loving film music. They weren’t many but they made up my entire collection some 12 years ago. The final piece of the puzzle is Harry Gregson Williams’ “Spy game”. This was score that pushed me over the edge into this wonderful endless abyss which is film score collecting.

It helped that I really loved the movie. I still consider Tony Scott’s spy thriller as one of the smartest movies I’ve seen. Robert Redford and Brad Pitt were both great in it and the music touched all the right chords with me. From the Asian influenced beginning in “Su Chow prison” through the atmospheric Arabic influenced middle section and to the emotional final cue “Operation Dinner out” this score is one of my favorite musical journeys to take time and time again.

I don’t remember how many hours I spend thinking and meditating while listening to “You’re going to miss it”, “Beirut, a war zone”, “My name is Tom” or “Parting company”. They were a company and comfort many times for me. This is one of the scores I’ve listened to the most times. There’s something about the depth and intensity of Harry Gregson Williams’ music that found a counterpoint inside me and stuck there forever.

“Red shirt” is epic and surprising because it comes so early in the score. This is one of “Spy game” ‘s strong points: it doesn’t waste time it just hits you from the first cue and there are no fillers and no boring moments. Every single note is a gem and every single cue plays on a feeling I know very well.

“All hell breaks loose” and “Explosion and aftermath” are epic and thunderous and when they come up there’s a unique mix of excitement about listening to them and a shadow of regret that I’m past halfway through the score and the end is getting close. “Operation Dinner out” ends the album in an emotional and triumphant manner and “Spy game” ends up just like a swift, risky and perfectly synchronized rescue mission. It is one of my favorite scores ever.

Cue rating: 100 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 66 / 66

Album excellence: 100%

Highlights:

Su-Chow Prison

Muir races to work

Hes been arrested for espionag

Red Shirt

Training Montage

Berlin

Its not a game

Youre going to miss it

Beirut a War Zone

My Name is Tom

All Hell breaks loose

Explosion and aftermath

Parting Company

Harker tracks Muir

The Long Night

Muir is in the Hot Seat

Back at Su-Chou Prison

Operation Dinner Out

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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