Two days before the movie's release, and Lions Gate has a webpage up with the complete Rambo soundtrack in streaming form and one downloadable track. (The password it'll ask you for is RAM1966, in caps.)
The composer of record is Brian Tyler (Children of Dune, War, Constantine), who seems to be doing a modest-yet-modern Jerry Goldsmith impression a third of the time...
I kind of like it, though it oddly reminds me of either Don Davis or David Arnold at alternating moments when Tyler isn't channeling Goldsmith. Apart from that, though (or perhaps because of it), it's kind of generically connect-the-dots...maybe it's one of those scores that only/mainly works with the movie and not on its own.
Saw the film yesterday, and yeah, it was pretty excellent. Much as I respect and enjoy the likes of Bourne and Die Hard, Rambo is in a class of action flicks of its own. It is violent, yes; brutal and viscerally raw, it lays the concept of genocide and homicide bare. It's also refreshingly devoid of modern-day trappings - no high-tech computers and gadgets, no electronic surveillances, and certainly no detonating some explosive with a Razr. Nope, Rambo is all about old-school jungle warfare, its laurels resting on guerrilla combat, sharp-shooting bow and arrows, and heavy artillery. (The gunner sequence, in particular, is over-the-top sublime.)
Stallone plays it stoic and reserved. Except when he gets going. In other words, he IS Rambo. Like the recent Rocky Balboa, he portrays a character that's been gone for two decades with a natural progression; the essence of Rambo's original personification is there, but with the weight of age showing obvious wear to his psyche. (He's also freaken BUILT, physically.)
Is the film politically topical? Maybe a bit; it is a reflection of war and the real-life happenstances in Burma. But the character itself this time really isn't; Rambo isn't an American-deployed soldier like in the past, and here, he fights out of conscience of choice. To me, that's what makes the character work in today's setting. The emotional and moral context is nowhere near on the level as Rocky Balboa, but its presence is enough to drive Rambo to where he needs to go -- and for a film of this caliber, that's all we could really hope for. I think IGN's Todd Gilchrist said it best: "It's an action epic, a message movie, and an epilogue to the character's story, if not also Stallone's career. At the same time, its overabundance of intentions puts it at cross purposes with what its audience wants - namely, nihilistic one-man carnage - which puts Rambo in the unique if unenviable position of being a film we're supposed to enjoy emptily and take seriously at the same time."
And Tyler's music score...... yeah, it's just sort of there. Very paint-by-numbers action material. Works in the film, but I didn't really take anything out of it. And actually, the only two noteworthy pieces happen to be the aforementioned available "Hunting Mercenaries" track and the john.rar "Rambo Suite." (The suite appears to cover the Main Theme, Main Title and End Theme -- and Hunting Mercs sets off the explosive final act in the movie.)
Last edited by Angela (Feb 03, 2008)