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Soundtrack review: Killing Gunther (Dino Meneghin – 2017)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Killing Gunther (Dino Meneghin – 2017)

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“Killing Gunther” – In Taran Killam’s world of contract killers, Gunther (Arnold Schwarzenegger), the greatest and most arrogant hitman, has earned the ire of the killer community. Now a group of up-and coming but dysfunctional assassins try to advance their careers by offing the most infamous exterminator of all time. These eccentric killers come together from across the globe to set the perfect trap. To have undeniable proof that they killed the notorious Gunther, this motley troop of killers hire a docu-crew at gun point. Their master plan quickly turns into a series of embarrassing fails. As Gunther is on to them before they know it and he makes it his personal mission to make their lives a living hell. It becomes a race against time: kill or be killed, as the hunters quickly become the prey. This movie looks fun and it’s on my to see list. Dino Meneghin wrote the score.

I see these days more and more scores start with a suite and this is both exciting and risky; on one hand I get the idea of how the score will be from the first few minutes and already know what I will be in for but on the other hand what if the suite is great and the score can’t build up on that and keep the excitement? Dino Meneghin opens with an absolutely delightful combination of cracking action music and German / Austrian influenced accordion and yodelling that I guess show us Gunther’s ancestry. It’s fun and groovy and I am instantly put in a good mood. It’s a nice start which in no way limits the rest of the score and I am pleasantly surprised to find a quiet emotional melody very soon in “Mission failure”.

The story of this movie relies on a lot of whacky and very different characters coming together for one mission and the music of Dino Meneghin makes it clear with a variety of genres from orchestral to punk rock and even jazzy percussion. It’s like each character gets his special sound and I am having fun with this score. There are some pulsating electronic moments like in the start of “Finding Feizmark” that get my blood pumping and change the mood to frantic thriller. “No place to go (Gabe’s theme)” is the funkiest of the electronic pieces and I find myself tapping my fingers on the table unconsciously as I listen to it. Even if I didn’t think it possible, “Miami meetup” is even cooler as it borders on EDM.

With an exciting and ever fresh mix of electronic action music and emotional piano based pieces, “Killing Gunther” reaches unexpected depths as a standalone listen; the range between “Gabe’s theme” and “A little bit persona – remembering Blake” or “Blake’s package” makes me think that the movie as well might hide a little more than expected. This is a very well rounded composition by Dino Meneghin who showcases his many talents on a score than gave me much more than I thought it would.

Cue rating: 90 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 14 / 29

Album excellence: 47%

Highlights:
01 Gunther Theme Suite
04 Mission Failure
07 No Place To Go (Gabes Theme)
08 Miami Meetup
09 A Little Bit Personal – Remembering Blake
10 Blakes Package
15 Prepping the Assault
21 Ashley’s Passing
22 Hit Baby

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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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