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Soundtrack review: Future world (Toydrum – 2018)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Future world (Toydrum – 2018)



“Future World” is an American science fiction action western film, directed by James Franco and Bruce Thierry Chung, from a screenplay by Chung and Jay Davis. Inside a desert oasis, a queen (Lucy Liu) lays dying as her son Prince (Jeffrey Wahlberg) travels across barren waste lands to find a near-mythical medicine to save her life. After evading violent raiders on motorbikes led by the Warlord (James Franco) and his enforcer (Cliff “Method Man” Smith), Prince meets Ash (Suki Waterhouse), the Warlord’s robot sex companion-assassin who’s in search of her own soul. As Prince is captured by the Druglord (Milla Jovovich), the Warlord’s forces roar in – and Prince fights to save the remnants of humanity. Toydrum wrote the score.

Well this has “Mad Max” written all over it, only a bit crazier. The score opens with “Future World (Intro) – Raiders Theme Pt1” (the cue titles are also futuristic and complex) which rubs me the right way with the nostalgic electronic sound. The sparse elements make me think of a desolate and harsh land. Then comes an aggressive, electric motif that deepens the feeling. It brings me joy when composers go all in with the story, even at the risk of alienating some listeners with their electronic experiments only to better evoke the atmosphere of the story. It’s the case with “Future world” where even without seeing the movie I know what I am in for because of the pulsating and often uncomfortable sound.

Is it me or a cue title like “Liquid Nights (Dance Party) – Fight To The Death – Stomach Meds” simply makes you want to listen to it and hear what it’s about? Just me? Alright. But it does and I am getting some weird disco electronic vibes, rhythmic and almost hallucinatory which just enhances the insane, over the top nature of the story. The entire score is a rollercoaster of sounds, here violent, there dreamy, never dull. Still this is not a score for everyone as people who don’t usually enjoy sonic experiments might have a hard time getting through this outside the context of the movie. Me, when I hear a cue like “Oasis Queen Is Dying – Good Guys Ride Out” I just feel the need to turn up the volume and let it hit me full force.

“Future world” is an electronic experiment, a mixed affair, a score that does its best to bring to music the chaos in the movie. Some moments sound retro, arcade game like, others are more aggressive and a few of them are dreamy. Toydrum pulled no stops in creating a chaotic, hallucinatory atmosphere that will leave a mark on the listener, positive or negative.

Cue rating: 64 / 100

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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