Film scores

Soundtrack review: No escape (Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders – 2015)

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I didn’t even have time to complain about “Hitman agent 47” that Marco Beltrami immediately shoves another score under my ears. He’s second only to Lorne Balfe in output this year and even if some of his scores are less brilliant I am going to keep listening to his music because few composers can deliver such varied and surprising compositions like he does. Once again he’s teamed up with his friend Buck Sanders with whom he wrote plenty of scores before. The movie is “No escape”, an intense international thriller starring Owen Wilson of all people, about an American family in the middle of a political uprising in Southeast Asia.

The echoes of the generic electronic “Hitman” are still fresh in my mind. Thankfully they are wiped away as if they were cobwebs by the electric and mysterious sound reminiscent of “The hurt locker”. Ethnic percussion and an instrumentation that comes over me like a sand storm welcome me to the world of “No escape”. Beltrami and Sanders have brought their insane drum sticks for this one and I am quickly becoming addicted to what this score is offering. Atmospheric and reflective piano? Yes please, I’ll have some of that as well. The two musical pushers have got me hooked with just a few instruments cleverly put together.

Can something make me uncomfortable and addicted in the same time? Apparently so because the sound of “No escape” is like a heart beating faster and faster because it senses danger close. I mimic this inside and I am suddenly scared. There are weird sounds and echoes of screams and all of them come one over the other in a dense and relentless score that kicks and pounds and sneaks around and just keeps coming until it’s all over me.

I love the way this score raises my pulse and makes me feel like I could take over the world. I haven’t heard a rhythm like this since Henry Jackman’s “Captain Phillips”. There truly is no escape from the music here but why would you want to run away? There is a special kind of savagery and rawness in the music that just makes me want to go wild. Moody intermissions like “Rooftop refuge” make me go back in time to the darkest Nine Inch Nails instrumental songs and I am just in awe of this score.

If “Mad Max: Fury Road” was the most explosive action score I’ve heard this year, “No escape” is its stealth or undercover counterparty. The action is different but just as brilliant. This is one of the most addictive scores I have ever heard and I can’t let it go. I will run on it, I will reflect on it, I will be paranoid on it. “No escape” has all that plus a relentless pace. Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders make me feel as if I was in the middle of a dangerous situation hiding and running for my life. They also made me feel as if I could stop running and just kill everyone that was threatening my family. This score will make your heart beat faster and it will bring a cold sweat on your back. The same music will take that all away and let you know that you won and you saved you loved ones. Do not miss this one.

Cue rating: 95 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 36 / 52

Album excellence: 70%

Highlights:

The President’s Toast

No Escape

Little Dreamer

Jack Wakes

Coup Coup Roux

Jack Be Nimble

Where’s Lucy

Pool Cue

Rooftop Refuge

Need A New Roof

Roof Toss

Atavistic Jack

The Bike Thief

Fighting For Annie

Brothel Refuge

Under The Stars

Gunshy

South Of The Border

Border Refuge

The Story Of Lucy

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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