Composer of the month Franchises The expendables month

Soundtrack review: The expendables 2 (Brian Tyler – 2012)

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When “The expendables” returned I was just as excited as the first time they came together. It wasn’t only because of the team of heroes ready for new on screen adventures though; I was as excited for the return of an equal member of The Expendables team, Brian Tyler. He gets back into action even faster than Sly, Arnie, Jason and the others: the opening track “The expendables return” explodes the main theme back into our ears and I can’t imagine a more appropriate theme for these movies. There are traces of my favorite cue from the first score (“Royal Rumble”) in this one.

“The expendables 2” is my favorite movie from the trilogy. Van Damme as a villain plus Chuck Norris’ priceless cameo make this one a winner for me. The score matches that. A lot of times the second score in a franchise is better than the first because it can develop the themes introduced before and can spend more time digging deeper into the thematic content. Sentimentally the beginning of any franchise will hold the most special place though.

Brian Tyler’s score is as exciting and fun as the movie itself. If you enjoy good old fashioned ass kicking action, this is it. Tyler spares nothing and comes at us with “Fists knives and chains” for the entire duration. Action music god that he is, he knows how to make his themes really stick to the characters and stories at hand: you will not find anything generic in his music. The music for “The expendables” has nothing to do with the one for Thor, the one for Turtles or the one for Rambo. Brian Tyler uses different measures, different paces and different identities for all of them and in the same time adds his own touch that links them all. For example “Preparations” will please fans of “Battle LA” greatly.

Not much more to say other than enjoy this one if you’re in the mood for an adrenaline rush. And if “Rest in pieces” and “Party crashers” don’t get you started, I don’t know what’s wrong with you.

Cue rating: 93 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 32 / 56

Album excellence: 57%

Highlights:

“The Expendables Return”

“Fists Knives and Chains”

“Making an Entrance”

“Rest in Pieces”

“Preparations”

“Party Crashers”

“Rescue”

“Escape”

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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