Along Came a Spider

Colosseum (4005939623821)
Varèse Sarabande (0030206623826)
Movie | Release date: 04/01/2001 | Film release: 2001 | Format: CD

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# Track   Duration
1.Night Talk3:06
4.Megan's Abduction3:19
5.Megan Overboard4:51
6.Cop Killer3:51
7.The Ransom7:27
9.Not My Partner5:02
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Along Came a Spider - 04/10 - Review of Tom Daish, submitted at
After the critically well received Kiss the Girls starring Morgan Freeman and with a score by Mark Isham we have the follow up, this time directed by Lee Tamahori. His previous film, The Edge was scored by Goldsmith - a lecture featuring both director and composer I attended was certainly an illuminating hour, together with the chance to meet the great composer himself. After his first film, Once Were Warriors, Tamahori doesn't seem to have been able to recapture any of the magic which made that debut so successful. Along Came a Spider has been accused of not having enough or having too much plot of being clever or being obvious. Essentially, nobody seems to agree on its effectiveness as a thriller with Freeman as a detective trying to track down a serial killer. The chances of it ever being theatrically released in Guernsey are small at best.

Tamahori evidently enjoyed working with Goldsmith on The Edge and his music features here. It gets off to an extremely unpromising start with stuttering synth effects that (with a little suggestion from the film's title) come across as a sound effect to a giant spider from a sci-fi film. However, this is soon added to with an electronic beat until glimmers of the orchestra finally make they way into the texture. The score then proceeds down the well worn action and suspense formula and only really during the brassy outbursts does the score really come alive. Goldsmith's suspenseful meanderings, often featuring one of his synth effects from Star Trek: Insurrection are no doubt worthy in the film, but pretty unexciting on disc. Cues such as Megan Overboard start with a couple of minutes of tedium and only when the brass and strings break out does it become worth listening to.

This is just the type of score where I'd likely be pointing out that while it's not exactly brilliant, is probably better than most composers could have managed. Partially true in this instance; the Goldsmithian action writing is some of his more aggressive of recent times, but doesn't really amount to more than the sum of its parts. The score's tone is consistent, even if there is little in the way of obvious recurring thematic material. Not a total disaster, but I'd suggest that Howard Shore or perhaps Carter Burwell could have concocted something more interesting, although in fairness this isn't the kind of film that demands anything particularly innovative. Not likely to be remembered in years to come, but the skills of a solid craftsman are still evident, even if the result can't whip up much enthusiasm in the listener.
This soundtrack trailer contains music of:

Naked Prey, Immediate Music (Trailer)
Original Trailer Music, ParodiFair (Trailer)


Other releases of Along Came a Spider (2001):

Along Came a Spider (2002)
Along Came a Spider (2002)
Along Came a Spider (2021)

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