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CD: Red Dawn (2012)
Review Rating:   Very Good
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Sony Classical

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November 19, 2012

Tracks / Album Length:

20 tracks / (51:20)



Ramin Djawadi


Special Notes:

16-page colour booklet with stills.

Comments :    

MGM’s decision to remake its boneheaded 1984 cult film was another attempt by the once-dying studio to find a name property and frankly save itself from bankruptcy, and when the end very nearly came, casualties of circumstances were a pocket of completed yet unreleased feature films. In Red Dawn’s case, the film took 2-3 years to reach screens via new distributor Film District, and in spite of co-starring Chris Hemsworth (Thor, The Avengers), the film had a short theatrical life.

Even with its revamped plot – improbably, North Koreans now replace the invading Soviets of 1984 – there was enough material from which composer Ramin Djawadi was able to craft a fairly solid action score, with a foreboding main theme and plenty of hard percussion. Somewhat similar in scope to Djawadi’s Clash of the Titans [M] (2010), the approach is fairly traditional with gloomy theme reiterations recurring in various urgent, dire, and heroic guises. The balance between orchestral and electronic elements is very smooth, and perhaps because of the score’s structure (classical in both theme usage, and modern bombast) it’s an engrossing work – which is surprising given the general comic book, jingoistic nature of the original story.

Not unlike Clash, Djawadi separates escalating tension cues with some lengthy theme variations stressing loss and tragedy, and the album similarly transcends the film by evoking a more sophisticated and emotionally punchy drama.



© 2013 Mark R. Hasan

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