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Chain Reaction
(1996)
Album Cover Art
1996 Varèse
2015 Varèse
Album 2 Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Orchestrated by:
Alexander Courage
Arthur Morton
Labels Icon
LABELS & RELEASE DATES
Varèse Sarabande
(August 13th, 1996)

Varèse Sarabande
(October 12th, 2015)
Availability Icon
ALBUM AVAILABILITY
The 1996 album was a regular U.S. release, but it became difficult to find in stores after a few years. The 2015 album is a Varèse Club title limited to 3,000 copies valued initially at $20 and available through soundtrack specialty outlets.
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AWARDS
None.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you're interested in exploring a slightly more romantic, optimistic, and instrumentally varied take Jerry Goldsmith's concurrently written and otherwise similar Executive Decision.

Avoid it... if any strictly procedural variation on merely average Goldsmith action material fails to compete with the composer's rich library of successful scores in the genre, a 2015 expanded product for this score a laborious experience.
Review Icon
EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #794
WRITTEN 10/31/96, REVISED 11/14/15
Goldsmith
Goldsmith
Chain Reaction: (Jerry Goldsmith) In an attempt to continue the success of the films inspired by the Academy Award-nominated The Fugitive in 1993, Fox's Chain Reaction offered another variation on the good-guy running from a good-natured cop routine. This time, the two primary fugitives are young scientists who are part of a university experiment that successfully yields clean and abundant energy by extracting hydrogen from water. When assassins kill the other scientists and set off an absolutely enormous explosion to destroy their laboratory, the two heroes are framed and accused of murder. Their boss escaped the blast, of course, but as Morgan Freeman could be in a number of circumstances, you're not sure if he's on their side or not. The film takes an interesting concept and compelling group of characters and allows it all to degenerate into a standard chase story, however. The actors really aren't believable in their roles (especially Keanu Reeves, for whom the script had to be re-written to even barely fit), the chases had been largely done before, and aside from the spectacular shockwave scene early in the film, there is little refreshing for the senses in Chain Reaction. It's not surprising that director Andrew Davis was also involved with The Fugitive (and Under Siege, among others), though his choice of composer was not typical for him in this 1996 entry. Collaborating with James Newton Howard for the scores to his films more often than not, Davis has shuffled between several other composers for a one-time pairing. The only collaboration between Davis and Jerry Goldsmith would be for Chain Reaction, a project that suited the veteran composer well at that time in his career due to its balance of humanitarian optimism, science fiction fantasy, and industrial environment. Coming off of a period in the early 1990's when he seemed content writing for films along Joe Dante lines (ridiculous comedies and tender character stories), Goldsmith made a sudden return to extroverted action scoring with Executive Decision and Chain Reaction in consecutive order. Unfortunately for the composer, while trying to escape his rather mundane, seemingly auto-pilot mode, he was unable to recapture a truly aggressively dynamic personality in his action material until later in 1996, when both The Ghost and the Darkness and Star Trek: First Contact proved to be superior ventures in the same general mould. Then again, the quality of the music in all of the aforementioned films seems to have paralleled the quality of the overarching productions themselves.



Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
233 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 2.93 Stars
***** 39 5 Stars
**** 42 4 Stars
*** 59 3 Stars
** 51 2 Stars
* 42 1 Stars
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COMMENTS
2 TOTAL COMMENTS
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Alternative review at movie-wave.net
Southall - July 12, 2012, at 2:01 p.m.
1 comment  (865 views)
Chain Reaction Movie
Canapril - June 6, 2007, at 10:35 p.m.
1 comment  (1921 views)
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
1996 Varèse Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 30:58
• 1. Meet Eddie (4:52)
• 2. Assassins (5:16)
• 3. Open Minds (2:46)
• 4. Ice Chase (5:49)
• 5. No Solution (2:41)
• 6. System Down (2:27)
• 7. Open Door (3:12)
• 8. Out of the Hole (3:31)
2015 Varèse Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 75:15

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert of the 1996 album includes notes by both the producer and director about the score and film. That of the 2015 product features even more extensive information.
Copyright © 1996-2017, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Chain Reaction are Copyright © 1996, 2015, Varèse Sarabande, Varèse Sarabande and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 10/31/96 and last updated 11/14/15.
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