Composer of the month The expendables month

Soundtrack review: Looper (Nathan Johnson – 2013)

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“Looper” was one of the smartest and most interesting sci-fi movies in recent years. It made me think, I loved the story and the premise and it left me speechless when it was over. If you haven’t seen it, I dearly recommend this movie. I am reviewing Nathan Johnson’s score as part of “The expendables month”, since the movie starred Bruce Willis.

The score is quite weird. Most of the cues electronic sounds, percussion and strings, echoing the disturbing and twisted world of the movie. The score is experimental, but interesting. It took a few listens to connect to it, but the occasional blissful orchestral motif that found its way in some cues made me come back time after time. You get a cue that’s hardly intelligible and sounds like a broken transmission and all of a sudden the sun shines, everything warms up and you’re in love because of a haunting piece of piano music comes out of nowhere and stops the world.

For me, “Looper” is all about two 6 star cues that dwarf the other ones and made my list of best cues of 2012. Both “Her face” and “Everything comes around” are so tender, so haunting, so intense that I forgot all about the rest of the score and kept “Looper” on my iPod for good. “Everything comes around”, the track that plays over the incredibly emotional end of the movie, is the sweetest lullaby you could hear. This cue tells you that everything is going to be alright…It helps you put your children to sleep and watch over them; it’s a sigh of relief and a look of gratitude towards the sky. I suspect that it reminds me of some magic motifs I might have heard when I was a kid, in a movie, or when I was listening to a story on vinyl, because it echoes too deeply inside and it feels like a trigger for hypnosis.

With these two cues and the emotional value of the movie, “Looper” is guaranteed a place on my  “won’t forget” list of scores.

Cue rating: 64 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 18 / 64

Album excellence: 28%

Highlights:

Seth’s Tale

A Life in the Day

Mining for Memories

Her Face

Everything Comes Around

 

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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