Film scores

Soundtrack review: The legend of Hercules (Tuomas Kantelinen – 2014)

Epic, emotional and thrilling, Tuomas Kantelinen’s composition ends up as a landmark in 2014

“The legend of Hercules” was, chronologically, the first Hercules film of 2014, and was destroyed by critics. It’s a different story with Tuomas Kantelinen’s score. I’ve been a fan of his since the amazing “Mongol” score so I don’t care if this is the worst movie of the year. I won’t see it; I’ll just enjoy the music.

Listening to the first cue is like a first dip into water that has the perfect temperature for you. No accommodation needed, no discomfort, we just dive into an epic, choral track that announces great things. These great things come in many shapes…an ominous cue like “Intervention of the Gods”, driven by haunting background voices; those 6 minutes might make you lose your path, but the music is too inviting to ignore. Once we get past the danger, our reward is a beautiful melody like “Hercules and Hebe”, tender and healing. I hear a trace of Avatar in it and I love it.

“The legend of Hercules” is a very enjoyable listening experience. The music flows from epic to tender and from choral to emotional and not a moment is lost or dull. It’s a truly wonderful score for a legend, and I feel invested in it. I arrive at the 10 minute long cue “Captivity”, and cues like these can be traps if a composer can’t handle them right. Guess what…Kantelinen can, and this one is as gripping and exciting as the rest of the score. “Hercules returns” is my favorite because it reaches something inside me with the softer, deeper mood. I get goose bumps listening to this one; it is the most emotional track from this score.

“The legend of Hercules” ends up as an amazing listening experience. Epic, emotional and thrilling, Tuomas Kantelinen’s composition ends up as a landmark in 2014. Just wonderful!

Cue rating: 97 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 59 / 59

Album excellence: 100%

Highlights:

The Fall of Argos

Intervention of the Gods

Hercules and Hebe

Flight

To War

Cave

Funeral

Captivity

Hercules Returns

Hercules the Leader

Taking Back Argos

Hercules Main Theme

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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