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Comments about the soundtrack for The Matrix Reloaded (Don Davis)

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My Amazon review (clue: bashing ahoy!)
• Posted by: G.K.   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Wednesday, February 23, 2005, at 3:19 p.m.
• IP Address:

Now, if you are a fan of the movie, you better skip this review and have a nice day because what I'll have to say about this 2 disc set is probably going to make you feel uncomfortable.

First of all, the content: the first disc contains numerous song by various artists "inspired by" the movie.
Disc two offers you the actual movie score by Don Davis and his collaborators Rob Dougan, Paul Oakenfold and Juno Reactor.
And there's already my first complaint.
Why release something like this?
I doubt that the majority of potential buyers is interested in both, the songs AND the score.
They'll have to pay more for a disc they don't really need!
Oh, well, the strongest aspect of the Matrix always was the commercial one ...

Then, the content itself. I am not really interested in the first disc, and have never actually listened to it, so i can't comment on that.
Let me just say that the increasing number of "Music inspired by" soundtracks really annoys me. Some companies even think they don't need to release a score soundtrack at all!
Let me tell you that the COMPOSER carries the film; it's because of him (or her) we cry or shudder, so give them some credit, for heaven's sake!
Even if Don Davis' score is boring, 20 minutes is ridiculous!

Which brings me to disc 2. Don Davis exemplifies on a larger scale what's so horribly wrong with today's composers. A good knowledge of classical composition, orchestration and a sense for the heart of a scene doesn't seem to be required anymore.
What do we use for action? Lots of brass and some techno to make it sound "cool", to give it some "drive".
What do we use for dialogue and emotion? Strings, lots of strings!
And add a choir for the "climax"!
And which direction are we going with this score? Direction? You mean there should be some development (not that the actual movie would go ANYWHERE, but nevertheless)?

This thing goes absolutely nowhere. You hit the play button, and 30 minutes later you think "so?"
I realise that this is the middle part of a trilogy, but you have to have *some* sort of climax.
Admittedly, it's difficult to drive the score anywhere without a title theme. "Matrix" is the only movie score I know that hasn't got ANYTHING that resembles REMOTELY a title theme (about motifs for certain characters this one can only dream).

There will probably be some people out there who think of the decrescendo-crescendo gesture as a "theme".
But, folks, to throw in some basic musical knowledge, that's not a "theme", that's merely a "gesture"!
So, the trademark of these scores is that they have no own identity to speak of whatsoever ... although it mirrors the movies, I doubt that this was Davis' goal.

At some point during the film, you just can't bear the flat trumpet crescendos anymore.
Like the movie itself, it settles into a two- dimensional routine: quiet-loud-quiet-loud ... it's simply tiring!

The most cruel thing about this score is that it is so thunderously, colossaly superficial and predictable.

You can look wherever you want: Davis never tries to capture the essence of a scene or to try something innovative.

The worst kind of "musical wallpaper" (trademark Danny Elfman) you can imagine.
So flat, so tiresome, so repeating and so pale and faceless like Keanu Reeves.

1 star out of 5

'nuff said

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