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Section Header
XXX
(2002)
Composed, Co-Orchestrated, Conducted, and Produced by:
Randy Edelman

Co-Orchestrated by:
Ralph Ferraro

Label:
Varèse Sarabande

Release Date:
November 19th, 2002

Also See:
Daylight
Die Another Day

Audio Clips:
1. Prague Arrival (0:33):
WMA (213K)  MP3 (266K)
Real Audio (165K)

5. Anarchy 99 (0:31):
WMA (202K)  MP3 (251K)
Real Audio (156K)

12. Motorcycle Assault (0:30):
WMA (197K)  MP3 (242K)
Real Audio (150K)

15. X Marks the Spot (0:31):
WMA (202K)  MP3 (250K)
Real Audio (155K)

Availability:
Regular U.S. release.

Awards:
  None.









XXX

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Sales Rank: 349499


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Buy it... if you consider the prospect of hearing Randy Edelman take a page directly from a Media Ventures score of the late 1990's is an intriguing twist on the generic action formula.

Avoid it... if the film's song placements are your preference, or if you prefer one of Edelman's more intelligent scores for a Rob Cohen adventure film.



Edelman
XXX: (Randy Edelman) Even in an era when ridiculous, franchise-imitating films were reigning supreme in Hollywood, it was amazing to realize just how well XXX fared in 2002, spawning its own franchise despite containing practically no intelligence whatsoever. By no means trying to mask itself as something else, the film is a blatant rip-off of the James Bond formula of films, a formula that lacks much depth to begin with. Replacing the classy, British persona of Bond in this case is an extreme sports fanatic and affable brute portrayed by Vin Diesel, whose appearance in the role was an attempt to put a defiantly indiscriminant muscle-man with tattoos into a Bond-like set of scenarios. The shameless production nevertheless succeeded beyond wildest expectations, extending the marketability of a combination of Vin Diesel and director Rob Cohen that had already lit up the screens with The Fast and the Furious. Because XXX was a Cohen film, the score became the assignment of his long-time collaborator, Randy Edelman. While Edelman wouldn't be the first composer to come to mind for this assignment, the composer and director teamed up for a strong year in 1996 alone, with Daylight and Dragonheart establishing themselves as an adequate, if not entertaining duo (and with the popularity of the latter long-standing). The seedy nature of this new project, not to mention the lack of sophistication, would seemed to have suggested that a Media Ventures hack job of a score would be called for. Certainly, unless the film wanted to go all the way in its Bond borrowings and pursue David Arnold (or the equally capable Edward Shearmur), then one of the electronically-minded pupils of Hans Zimmer would have been a logical fit. In some assignments, Edelman had proven to be completely out of his league, prompting the studio to replace his action material with more robust music. Nevertheless, the composer had shown an ability at times to adapt himself to a variety of scoring situations, and it should come as no surprise that his score for XXX better resembles a Media Ventures job of the late 1990's rather than one of this own. The score in the film was often pushed out of the way by hideous, trashy hard rock and electronica club songs, and thus, Edelman's score often attempts to generate the same level of adrenaline by utilizing the force of volume instead of a sense of tact.

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The large Los Angeles orchestral ensemble, featuring an enormous brass section, is deceiving, however. Despite the potential amount of robust orchestral sound that could have been delivered through that ensemble, Edelman falls back on the synthesized keyboarding and electronic pounding that Media Ventures score fans will instantly recognize from half a dozen generic works. The same irony that often plagues Hans Zimmer's own scores of the 2000's is heard here; the bold performances by an abundance of horn players is mixed so that even the largely organic recordings sound synthetic, defeating the purpose of such an expensive music budget. The synthetic percussion alone is a driving force in the music, and in cues such as "Anarchy 99," the harsh, abrasive spirit of the electronics is overbearing and irritating. Much of the action music follows a similar avenue, sometimes with an electric guitar and sometimes with Edelman's catchy spy theme. Almost as though it was lifted from a 1960's television spy drama, the nifty tune establishes itself strongly in the second half of the score (and especially the enjoyable finale cue), performed with vigor and a hip, electronic rhythm. Other than a few impressive brass performances of this title theme, though, it begs for more development and attention. If anything, a super human dork running through explosions and getting the girl at the end should at least have better-established thematic accompaniment for his endeavors. The secondary themes and motifs in XXX are even less developed, with the character cue for "Elena" lacking any elegance or appeal. Edelman's suspense motif, heard near the outset of "El Jefe in the Colombian Drug Fields" (among other places), is reminiscent of a generic Alan Silvestri idea. Other cues attempt to infuse an ethnic or otherwise unique instrumental spirit to the mix, such as the use of a duet of violin and electric guitar in "Prague Arrival." But these cues are often stifled by the synthetic pounding which surrounds them. With all of these parts joined, the score as whole has a simple element of cohesiveness that ironically holds it together as a decent listening experience despite being devoid of thought. If your tolerance for harsh electronic sampling is considerable, then you may very well find XXX to be a thrilling effort (and in that case, be sure to seek out the score-only album rather than the song compilation released earlier). If you value any level of intelligence or creativity in your scores, however, then Edelman's music will slap you in the face at every turn. **   Amazon.com Price Hunt: CD or Download

Bias Check:For Randy Edelman reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 3.06 (in 18 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 3.17 (in 27,455 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.





 Viewer Ratings and Comments:  


Regular Average: 2.53 Stars
Smart Average: 2.66 Stars*
***** 55 
**** 71 
*** 98 
** 127 
* 143 
  (View results for all titles)
    * Smart Average only includes
         40% of 5-star and 1-star votes
              to counterbalance fringe voting.
   song
  george -- 10/31/07 (11:00 a.m.)
   Re: GTO music
  chris -- 7/31/07 (5:23 p.m.)
   GTO music
  Werner -- 6/2/04 (4:27 a.m.)
   Terrible sounding synths
  the_negotiator1 -- 7/24/03 (11:38 a.m.)
   Re: Didn't notice the score, did you?
  Gav -- 7/23/03 (3:52 p.m.)
Read All | Add New Post | Search | Help  




 Track Listings: Total Time: 37:01


• 1. Prague Arrival (1:52)
• 2. Washington Searches for the Right Man (3:31)
• 3. A Distorted View of the World (2:21)
• 4. Czech Cavalry (1:45)
• 5. Anarchy 99 (2:02)
• 6. Elena (1:52)
• 7. The Changing Science of Ahab (3:10)
• 8. A Kiss on the Rooftop (3:03)
• 9. El Jefe in the Colombian Drug Fields (1:16)
• 10. Finding Paradise in Bora Bora (1:50)
• 11. Lions and Gibbons (2:03)
• 12. Motorcycle Assault (4:05)
• 13. In Xander's Zone (2:03)
• 14. Your Eyes Give You Away (2:04)
• 15. X Marks the Spot (3:42)




 Notes and Quotes:  


The insert includes a list of performers, but no extra information about the score or film.





   
  All artwork and sound clips from XXX are Copyright © 2002, Varèse Sarabande. 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 Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 7/22/03 and last updated 3/2/09. Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 2003-2013, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.