Film scores

Soundtrack review: Hitman agent 47 (Marco Beltrami – 2015)

hotman

“Hitman agent 47” is a 2015 American-German action film based on the famous Hitman videogame series. I remember a Hitman movie a few years ago starring Timothy Olyphant, it was quite enjoyable. I think I will see this one because the main character I played by Rupert Friend who kicks major ass in “Homeland”. He will surely own the part. I find it natural that Marco Beltrami, film music’s wonderful chameleon, writes the score for this one. It seems like his cup of tea. Now his year has been, of course, quite a rollercoaster but he has enough releases to balance the more lack luster scores. Having said that, I don’t feel that confident about “Hitman”. Hope I’m wrong.

The thing is that lately Beltrami has shined in different settings: westerns, dramas or strange movies. His thriller scores, the ones who should have been the most straightforward and easiest to write have to often fallen in the generic trap. It seems as if the composer himself has gotten bored with writing action thriller music and is just putting those cues on autopilot. We get that same electronic thin sound that plagues a lot of the current thrillers. I think many directors are comfortable with that sound and since live orchestras are expensive…

Beltrami tries to do something different in the moody moments. “Katia’s theme” is the first cue that makes me feel something. The pounding and pulsating “Point blank” warms me up and I could do with more cues like this one. I get on board with something like “Flashbacks” as well but only because I’ve heard it so many times before and that familiarity makes me connect with it easier. Still I long for more ambient pieces like “Night swimming”.

The thing is this unimpressive but intense electronic style probably fits the movie very well. A fast paced action film inspired by a series of video games keeps the video game atmosphere alive and the music reflects that; it just doesn’t make for a very rewarding or gripping standalone listen. We have heard this score before in the past few years in countless thrillers and action films. I don’t really hear Beltrami’s personal touch in “Hitman agent 47” and except a few atmospheric moments and a few more percussion heavy action pieces which reminded me of James Newton Howard’s “Salt” there wasn’t much for me here. I’m not sure even Beltrami fans will be able to connect with this one.

I will put this behind me and wait for his next release which should be coming very soon.

Cue rating: 77 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 3 / 57

Album excellence: 5%

Highlights:

Point blank

Night swimming

 

 

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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