Film scores Franchises

Soundtrack review: The Scorpion King 4 (Geoff Zanelli – 2015)

 

The Scorpion King… 4. This title doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence for me or any film music fan probably. Maybe just the die-hard fans of the franchise will want to see it. This movie is part of “The mummy” franchise and I’ve enjoyed those movies. I haven’t seen either of the “Scorpion King movies” though, not even the one starring The Rock so I don’t have any connection with the characters or story.

Even a less interesting or appealing movie can benefit from a remarkable score though and since this one was written by long time Hans Zimmer collaborator Geoff Zanelli, a composer whose contributions to a lot of great scores hasn’t gone unnoticed, I dive into it hoping for an entertaining score. The movie offers enough premises for one.

10 minutes into the score and I am nodding my head satisfied. The music is light epic if there was such a genre. It’s not the thundering madness of Alan Silvestri’s “The mummy returns” but then again the movie isn’t as high profile as that one either. It does fit with the general sound of the franchise and I easily find its place. The music is easy on the ears and fun to listen to. It gets even better when “We haven’t eaten dinner yet” kicks in. Geoff Zanelli’s RCP roots shine on this one and I am wondering whether I’ve accidentally switched folders and I’m actually listening to a cue from the recording sessions of the second “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie. This theme would fit right there and I love it. The same swashbuckling fun, the same orchestra and percussion dialogue that used to underline the fight scenes in the Jack Sparrow movies. Yeah, I’m definitely along for the ride of this score.

“The Scorpion King 4” score doesn’t pretend to be more serious than the movie. I get the same feelings listening to it as I would get watching a very enjoyable popcorn movie. It’s pure entertainment with the added bonus of motifs and pieces that take me back to not only the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise but also other Zimmer or Steve Jablonsky scores. The adventure in the music is awesome and I am grooving in my chair when I hear “The cage fight” with its “The dark knight” like descent and the rocking guitars in “I’m not your friend”. Emotions are served in “Destiny” and the mood of this score is slim and fast moving. There’s nothing heavy or exaggerated in the music and this is the idea I keep returning to. I love the fact that Geoff Zanelli composition doesn’t make me work hard and rewards me just the same. I almost feel like I am cheating because I am enjoying the score so much.

Bold, determined and brimming with self-confidence, “The Scorpion King 4 – Quest for power” is a very entertaining summer score. It has that freshness and feeling of freedom that I associate with this season and it brings the sensation that the days are long and a lot can still happen. It packs 65 minutes of fireworks and you will still smell the smoke after it’s over. I don’t care about this movie but the score will definitely stay in my collection. It tells me a story with a beginning, middle and an ending and I didn’t need more from it. Two weeks in and 2015 is already a good year for film music.

Cue rating: 88 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 35 / 65

Album excellence: 54%

Highlights:

The Battle For the Urn of Kings

Make Peace

We Haven’t Eaten Dinner Yet

The Cage Fight

I’m Not Your Friend

Destiny

He Is Very Real

The Second Time’s the Charm

The Crown

King and Queen

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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