I must say here and now I am no fan of Hans Zimmer
, and also I am not a great admirer of animated movies, so maybe I should stop now ? Ok, I will continue because John Powell
is involved. To my surprise I enjoyed this score a lot, it was not only a very melodic work but it also contained a number of musical parodies throughout that just raised a smile every so often. When I say parodies I can clearly pick out cues or at least interludes within cues that are definite references to Schifrin’s ENTER THE DRAGON, which makes this already entertaining score even more likeable, the simple reason being that once you hear the first reference to Dragon, you want to go on and see or at least hear more, as in track number 8 GONGMEN JAIL. The score contains a great full blooded theme that raises its head and is given a full working for the first time in track number 4, MUSICIANS VILLAGE, this central theme returns throughout the remainder of the work in various guises and disguises and is given a really high speed energetic work out in track number 9, RICKSHAW CHASE, and at times is a sort of western/eastern theme. Essentially this is a score that is rather light hearted but it also contains a number of themes, dramatic, romantic and even ethnic sounding as in oriental flavoured music. From a personal point of view I feel that this is around 99 percent John Powell
and 1 percent Hans Zimmer
, but there again I would say that wouldn’t I ? The score just has an atmosphere and also a sound to it that can only really be pure Powell. As in HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, the composer has provided a score that is multi faceted, full of energy, throbbing with pulsating themes and also bursting at the seams with haunting and luscious sounding romantically slanted pieces. The composers fuse so many different styles together, but the end product is quite stunning. An entertaining score, that relies upon the use of the brass section a lot of the time, which is laced and supported by strident strings and heavy percussion, it is totally absorbing and entertaining and a score that I whole heartedly recommend.
Read other recent reviews by John Mansell: Addio, Fratello Crudele
, The Dark Side of Light