Film scores

Soundtrack review: Vice (Hybrid – 2015)

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“Vice” is a 2015 Sci-Fi movie starring Bruce Willis, Thomas Jane and Ambyr Childers. VICE is the ultimate resort, where anything goes and the customers can play out their wildest fantasies with artificial inhabitants who look, think and feel like humans. When an artificial becomes self-aware and escapes, she finds herself caught in the crossfire between mercenaries and who wants to shut VICE down and stop the violence. Hybrid wrote the score and I’m expecting something very exciting. Somehow the story fits with his usual style.

And there it is as soon as “Bank robbery” starts: that pounding and exciting electronic sound that doesn’t waste any time in introducing itself. It invites you to turn up the volume and tries to wake up a robotic instinct in you. This cue gives me the kind of rush I would need for an energy boost when I run. “Welcome to Vice” goes melodic and symphonic and reminds me of the great score for “Tron: legacy”. Hybrid knows how to write in that very special way which gives me the feeling of no limits and restrictions. There’ve been a lot of excellent orchestral electronic scores in the past few years and the way this one starts it could fit right in there. I love the way these two cues flow into each other, they feel like one cue.

I connect very easily to “Vice” because I love both the electric action parts and the atmospheric breaks. I feel the taste of metal and I see everything in grey and blue when I listen to this score. Even if I am familiar with this sound I can be surprised: “You made me breakfast” opens with a haunting female voice and is the first truly emotional moment of the score. It just flies away and makes me dream with an exceptional melodic ambient section. I am so into this score that I even like the clubbing anthem “Club Vice”. This is a chill piece I don’t always enjoy but there’s something about the way Hybrid put the sounds together…Guy knows his club music.

The score loses a bit of steam in the middle section but it would be hard to hold that pace for the duration. I still enjoy the quieter, more reflective moments like “Designed in her image” or “Roy meets Julian” but I am all hyped and in the mood for action. I say this and yet I am mesmerized by “All my memories are fake” which doesn’t really get loud during its almost 7 minutes run and still ends up as one of my favorites from the score. It feels like the moment of the decision, or the final preparation cue for the grand finale.

The grand finale is a little underwhelming. It sounds as if it takes place underwater, or it relies on playing hide and seek. I guess the first half of the score kind of spoiled me. I finally recapture those feelings in parts of “Meet the maker” and this gives me hope for the end of the score. An album like this needs a strong finish. I will still count it as a score I really liked but an explosive finish would really make it even more memorable. And Hybrid humors me with “System meltdown”.

Overall “Vice” was a very good score. Hybrid is a name that guarantees quality for me and after this one I will go through his other compositions from the past couple of years. Get this if you are a fan or if you are into this kind of music. You won’t regret it.

Cue rating: 82 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 25 / 67

Album excellence: 38%

Highlights:

Bank Robbery

Welcome To Vice

You Made Me Breakfast

Kelly Escapes

Roy Meets Julian

All My Memories Are Fake

Meet His MakerSystem Meltdown

 

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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