I suppose the trouble or problem with re-makes of movies that are considered classics or iconic films is that one is always looking to compare the re-make with the original, I know its hard not to do this even if you consciously say to yourself you must not. I decided what I would do with the new version of ROBOCOP is not actually see the movie until I had listened to the score. Again it’s hard at times to put out of mind the score for any original and inevitably we began to make comparisons, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with the score to this new take on ROBOCOP, composer Pedro Bromfman
has produced a pulsating and highly vibrant work that is filled to overflowing with tense and nervous sounding cues that are action driven and relentlessly powerful. I am so pleased that the composer saw fit to pay his own tribute to the late Basil Poledouris
by including the familiar strains of the Robocop theme, which makes its entrance into Bromfman’s score at track number 3 -TITLE CARD, it is a short 50 second track but is dominated by the strident and infectious theme that we first heard back in 1987 and now so readily associate with the central character.
Bromfman,s unyielding powerhouse of a soundtrack is a fusion of conventional orchestral textures which are enhanced, coloured and embellished to great effect by a variety of synthetic components, these are further underlined and supported with booming and urgent sounding percussive elements that play a major role in the soundtracks effervescent and increasingly taut musical persona, the composer brings into play fearsome and rasping brass flourishes which although are but fleeting add much to create an atmosphere of urgency, he combines these with slightly apprehensive sounding strings and adds little touches from percussion to maintain a more than anxious action led mood. This I think is displayed fully in tracks number, 14, GOING AFTER JERRY, 16, MURPHYS CASE IS FILED and is developed and added to in track 23, BATTLING ROBOTS which is a cue that builds tension upon tension until it overflows and boils over into a full blown action piece, this is also the musical scenario for track number 15, VALLONS WAREHOUSE, the composer bringing together both conventional instrumentation and electronics to create an unstoppable and insistent musical accompaniment. There are a few quieter moments within the score that add an air of intimacy and melancholy to the proceedings but these are short lived and in most cases as in Track number 6, CALLING HOME, soon return to being brooding and dark orientated cues rather than building or developing into anything that we could refer to as romantic or emotive. This for me is a score that is well worth investing in and also an interesting addition to any film music collection. Available on Sony and at I. Tunes.
Read other recent reviews by John Mansell: Addio, Fratello Crudele
, The Dark Side of Light