Original Motion Picture Score
The world recently lost James Horner to a plane crash. Mr. Horner was superbly talented, and famous for many of his film scores. 30 years ago Arnold Schwarzenegger was John Matrix in Commando! Here’s my review of the recently released La La Land Records score, and my overall thoughts on the film.
So here’s the deal…. I’ve HEARD of Commando, I’ve known it was one of Arnold’s films from the 80s, but until recently I’d never actually seen the film. At least I don’t remember seeing it. As I watched the film, it wasn’t what I thought it was going to be at all. Maybe I’ve gotten so used to The Expendables films, but I was expecting Arnold to be kicking ass from the start of this, not chopping would and playing with his daughter. It isn’t long til he starts kicking ass, but still….
So James Horner was tapped to craft the film’s music, and the man does an excellent job!!! Every beat of this score can be felt throughout the film. There are 24 tracks here on the La La Land Release. Track 21 is “Someday, Somehow, Someone’s Gotta Pay” performed by The Power Station. Tracks 22-24 are bonus alternate takes. We can actually hear Horner introducing them.
I enjoyed Commando and it’s score, but I don’t think that going track by track, as I normally do will do the man or the score justice. I’m going to be talking about several tracks from the score that really stood out to me. I’ll also be talking about James Horner’s choices for instruments, and his style of composing. So starting off I was not expecting Track 1: “The Trashmen / The Agency” to come up and punch me in the gut. That’s exactly what it does though. I dig the intense action in this track, the brum beats are amazing. My next favorite is Track 2: “Main Title” Once again a kick ass track from the start! As we get into the main title it has this haunting overtone. I’m not even sure what instrument it is that makes that sound. So I don’t wanna be an indiot and say it was this, when it was something else. So the main body of the score not counting the bonus tracks is 21 tracks. As I had my headphones on while writing this…. I had to look several times to make sure I didn’t have the shuffle option on. It seemed that the score was playing extra fast. Maybe I got lost in thought as I was listening through this the first few times. Or maybe it’s the fact that the music is so actioned packed. From track to track they all flow very well together. Within that flow… is something of a speed by kinda score. I don’t mind it all, I just had to point it out that these 21-24 tracks go by very fast. My next favorite track is Track 8: “Matrix Hits The Swamp” this is when John escapes the plan and lands in the swamp. I mean it can’t be any more obvious than that, because it says it in the track name. This one I enjoy for its steamy jungle themed tone. It feels like it’s 90 degrees when I’m listening to this. During the scene that this plays in, it’s just Matrix escaping though. So not sure why this had to be extremely amped up. I loved it though. Track 11: “Don’t Move” is another favorite. The horns in this track are absolutely to die for. The tone is dark and gritty, yet the action is never-ending. Track 17: “Matrix Climbs Up Bank” has tones in it that I was not expecting. Sure it has that deep drum beat, but it has a few riffs in it that elevate it beyond that.
Total Disc Time: 61:48
The Power Station’s “Someday, Somehow, Someone’s Gotta Pay” really fits this film, and it shows just how NINETEEN EIGHTY FIVE this is! The bonus alternate cues are done up very well. Although anyone that has read any of my soundtrack reviews before will know I prefer what is actually in the film to whatever alternates there might exist out there. The reason for this is I make connections with the music in any medium. Whether that be TV, Film, or Video Games. I believe that it’s a completely album experience having the bonus tracks, but for me they are unneeded. I do have to bring up one other track that I left out in the above text. Track 7: “Don’t Disturb My Friend” this track has that main tonal theme heard throughout the score. However the way it starts out is very interesting… It’s like hearing a tune right as someone upper cuts you.
Commando as a film and score were something completely unexpected for me. The film after watching it I felt as if it was just there. Until I started listening to the score on its own. I went back and rewatched the movie and have a new appreciation for it. You can get this action packed score from LA LA Land Records directly! So go Commando today!