Film scores Franchises

Soundtrack review: Furious 7 (Brian Tyler – 2015)

Back Lot Music - Furious 7 Score

“Furious 7” is the end of the famous and beloved “Fast and furious” franchise which I never thought could go for so long. But it did, and this end of the saga has an added emotional weight because of the untimely death of Paul Walker in 2013. He had completed only half the movie so his two brothers had to stand in for him and some CGI was also used. Fact is everyone’s in this movie: The Rock, Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, it’s like a greatest hits of the previous movies. I expect Brian Tyler’s score to be in the same vein but I would also love to hear some emotional tracks to let me know that someone is gone…

My relationship with the franchise has been lukewarm. I am not a car guy and I found the movies silly when they first came out. I did enjoy “Tokyo Drift” but I am not invested in the characters or story. Surprisingly, since I consider Brian Tyler to be by far the best action music composer out there, I’m not too fond of the score franchise either. I couldn’t quite connect with any of them and they are at the bottom of my Brian Tyler top. Maybe he saved the best for last.

Even if I am not that fond of the previous scores I know when the first cue “Furious 7” plays that this is part of the same franchise. Tyler created his own sound for the series and I can easily recognize it. It’s a sound so electric that sparks flow; it stops all of a sudden and then goes again and if a car suddenly turned. It’s fast and it’s furious, even though I’m not sure I can enjoy it for close to 80 minutes without variation.

But fear not… “Awakening” is the first emotional moment of the score and I feel all its power. It really feels like an awakening, or a hero getting up from being on his knees and rising to face the odds which seemed unbeatable at that point. I am inspired by this cue. I get visions of people coming together one last time for a common cause despite previous differences. From my movie viewing experience a cue like this works best on a scene where the hero is filmed in slower motion. I’ll remember this sensation for when I will see the movie.

The more I listen to this score I get the feeling that it’s more complex than the previous installments. I find in “Furious 7” that extra emotion I was hoping for and also a variation which doesn’t let it become boring. The action pieces intertwine with emotional moments and this score feels like a story. Brian Tyler’s evolution is obvious here as well. For me his “Fast & Furious” scores lacked something but now after he’s written such epic stuff like “TMNT” or “Thor” he brought a bit of that magic to this franchise as well. I have these thoughts during “Mountain hijack”.

He also brought another thing… He blended the “F&F” sound with his “Expendables” spices and this is how he makes me invested in the score. I am a big fan of his “Expendables” compositions so recognizing them in here makes me connect better to “Furious 7”. I still am drawn more to emotional moments like “Homefront” or “Remembrance” but the electric screeches of a cue like “Hobbs is the cavalry” don’t leave me indifferent.

Brian Tyler’s action scores never fail. I had my worries about this particular one but I shouldn’t have. It just works. I imagine it will work even better for fans of the franchise and of the previous scores. The advantage of not being a fan of them was that this one felt fresh to me. If you want to listen to “Furious 7” you probably know what to expect and I just want to tell you that you won’t be disappointed. Brian Tyler remains one of the most solid composers out there.

Cue rating: 84 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 25 / 77

Album excellence: 32%

Highlights:

Awakening

Battle Of The Titans

Mountain Hijack

The Three Towers

Remembrance

A Completely Insane Plan

Letty And Dom

Heist In The Desert

One Last Stand

Farewell

 

 

 

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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