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Soundtrack review: The titan (Fil Eisler – 2018)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: The titan (Fil Eisler – 2018)

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“The Titan” is a science fiction thriller film directed by Lennart Ruff. It stars Sam Worthington, Taylor Schilling and Tom Wilkinson. In the near future, a military family is chosen to participate in a ground-breaking experiment to accelerate man’s genetic evolution in order to relocate humanity to another planet. Fil Eisler wrote the score.

The opening cue “The convoy” builds up nicely with some retro synth inserts that are right up my alley. These nostalgic little sounds and a couple of short melodic motifs can make a cue enjoyable for me even if it’s otherwise rather harmless. This is Fil Eisler though and his composing range allows him to step away from the generic and harmless and breathe life into his music. “Titans in training” already has a motivational feel to it and it reminds me a bit of Steve Jablonsky’s score for “Ender’s game”. I am enjoying the reflective texture that every now and then firmly tells me that this story takes place in the outer space and that there are exploratory elements in it. The subtle changes in the pace of the score give me an idea of how the story develops.

Often the composer combines a beautiful and warm melodic motif with a cold and uncomfortable electronic sound that I don’t enjoy that much; I am a fan of electronic music but I wouldn’t listen to something like “Dog tags” or “Progress comes at a price” for example again outside the context of the movie. There are quite a few similar moments when I can’t connect with the score or when I find it to be too quiet and focusing too much on mystery and tension instead of anything else.

As the score progresses the listening experience becomes for me a wait for something to break that dark mood, a louder action motif or another melodic insert. I am not enjoying the electronic texture a lot on its own and the album becomes frustrating in its second half. I haven’t seen the movie unfortunately so I can’t comment on how well this compositions serves it but as a standalone listening experience “The titan” doesn’t come close to my favorite Fil Eisler scores that usually have more heart.

Luckily during the second half of the score I did find moments to appreciate like the beautiful retro reflective “Shame we can’t save it”, moments that show me this score could have gone a different way and that Fil Esiler knows how to write good Sci-fi music. These retro ambient moments were my favorite parts from “The titan” but still are not enough to make me recommend this score outside the context of the movie. The final two cues once again make me regret that there wasn’t more music like this on the score.

Cue rating: 68 / 100

Highlights:
Titan 2
The Mountains Of Titan (End Title)

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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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