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Comments about the soundtrack for The Mummy Returns (Alan Silvestri)

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Filmtracks Sponsored Donated Review
• Posted by: Joshua Blackman   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Saturday, November 17, 2001, at 1:24 p.m.
• IP Address:

The Mummy Returns: (Alan Silvestri) I really love Goldsmith's score from the original. It not only contained exciting Egyptian action cues, but three great themes (the best being the Jarre-esque romantic theme), and although Goldsmith himself despised it, the film was pretty good too (and I'm a sucker for Rachel Weisz). The sequel film didn't fair as well, but it still managed to provide nonstop action and a few laughs for it's two hour running time. Alan Silvestri's score, though, rises above the film in almost every respect. It has a feeling of non-stop energy, excitement and fun which permeates throughout all the music. This is action swashbuckling music at its best.

There are many themes utilized throughout the score, the primary ones being: Rick's Theme, the Rick/Evy love/adventure theme and the Imhotep/Anck-su-namun love theme. Rick's Theme is heard often and has a really fun, heroic feel to it and is just as good, if not better than Goldsmith's equivalent theme. The Rick/Evy love theme is best heard in its soft romantic form in one of the best cues on the album, the short and sweet 'Just an Oasis'. Throughout most of the rest of the score, though, this theme is presented as a sweeping adventure piece, such as in 'Medjai Commanders'. The third theme, the love theme for the primary villains of the film, is a very effective Egyptian-influenced piece which sounds romantic and yet sinister at the same time. 'Evy Remembers' contains a great version of this theme, and 'The Mushy Part' contains a Lawrence of a Arabia style version of it. At the conclusion of the score is the conveniently titled 'The Mummy Returns', which contains a presentation of all these themes and much more - a track which will surely become a compilation favourite.

Other stand-out cues include 'Evy Kidnapped' and 'My First Bus Ride', which would have to be two of the best cues on the album. 'My First Bus Ride' is especially brilliant, fun and exciting, and is one of the best action sequences I've heard in quite a while. 'Come Back Evy' is another brilliant track which, while starting innocently, transforms into a heart-wrenchingly emotional cue of tremendous power. Great stuff! This is quite an original effort from Silvestri, although his action/adventure style as seen in the Back to the Future scores is very much evident here. There was, however, a motif used repeatedly in 'My First Bus Ride' that is taken from 'Scheherazade' by Rimsky-Korsakov. This is not necessarily a bad thing, though, just a point of note.

Although the CD contains 74 minutes of music, a significant proportion of the music from the film, especially from the climax, is missing from this release, and it is all great material. Although some of it is present in various other forms throughout the album, notable missing cues include the battle between Ardeth Bay's army and the Anubis warriors (including a noble trumpet fanfare), the finale atop the pyramid, and the following brief end credits sequence. If they dispensed with that rock song on the end, then they could have easily fit the best of this material on the CD. It remains to be seen whether there will be an expanded release that contains all the music used in the film (the film contained 113 minutes of music). This release, however, should provide more than enough material to satisfy most film score fans.

As this is a sequel score, I suppose some attention must be paid to this score in relation to Goldsmith's original. Personally, I like the feel of Goldsmith's score better than this one, and I thought it captured all the elements of the romance, the desert/Egyptian setting and the action very well. Silvestri did a better, more exciting job with the action side of the score, but I think he fell slightly short with the other two aspects. And while the action is great, there is very little soft romantic cues when compared to the volume of action music presented. It is a pity because the themes are there, but they are just under-utilized in that form. This is probably more a complaint about the film that the score, however, as the non-stop action of the film didn't allow Silvestri (or the viewer) much breathing space. I think both Goldsmith and Silvestri's scores are great given the direction that the composers decided to take them, it is just that I liked the direction Goldsmith went in better. Even having said that, overall this is a brilliant effort by Silvestri, and I doubt if we'll see a better action/adventure score this year. Or for quite a while longer than that. *****

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  •   Filmtracks Sponsored Donated Review  (4137 views)    We're Here
       Joshua Blackman - Saturday, November 17, 2001, at 1:24 p.m.

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