"Edge Of Tomorrow"
Soundtrack Album Review
22 Tracks/Disc Time: 53:08
With a summer filled with plenty of effects films and tons of sequels, Warner Bros. Pictures' "Edge Of Tomorrow" was unfortunately a casulty that despite high critical acclaim and being one of the best reviewed films of the summer with Rotten Tomatoes giving it a 90% fresh rating, the film was buried under films such as "Amazing Spider-Man 2", "X-Men Days Of Future's Past", "Transformers Age of Extinction", "Maleficent", "How To Train Your Dragon 2", "Neighbors", "The Fault In Our Stars" and Warner Bros. own "Godzilla" remake. The film stars Tom Cruise as Major William Cage, an officer who has never seen a day of combat when he is unceremoniously dropped into what amounts to a suicide mission after an alien race has hit the Earth in an unrelenting assault, unbeatable by any military unit in the world. Killed within minutes, Cage now finds himself inexplicably thrown into a time loop-forcing him to live out the same brutal combat over and over, fighting and dying again...and again. However with each battle and death, Cage becomes able to engage the adversaries with increasing skill, alongside Special Forces warrior Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt, "The Five Year Engagement"). Cage and Vrataski take the fight to the aliens, each repeated encounter gets them one step closer to defeating the enemy. The film was directed with fun and excitement by Doug Liman, the man behind blockbusters such as "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" and "The Bourne Identity" as well as fun cult classics such as "Go" and "Swingers".
With a film such as this with a very unique and original storyline, you need to have a solid score to compliment it with both visually as well as the solid acting by Cruise and Blunt. Composer Christophe Beck fresh off the blockbuster hit, "Frozen" which has also enjoyed being the best soundtrack seller of 2013 on the Billboard charts. Beck has always been a talented and multifaceted composer with solid underrated scores to films such as "RED", "The Sentinel", "Tower Heist", "Runner Runner" and "R.I.P.D.". The score to this film isn't entirely a bad one but not entirely a good one either. It is a score that is pretty much like how I felt about The Amazing Spider-Man 2" which were both uneven and relied way too much on electronics to drive the film instead of concentrating on a purely orchestrial score that could've sprinkled in electronics throughout when needed.
Starting with the pulsing "Angel Of Verdun (Main Titles)" that establishes the main theme which is actually pretty good mixing string work, brass and percussion that is somewhat similar to the opening titles of "The Sentinel" which was a great score. The rest of the score predominantly takes its cue from this score highlighted by the tracks "No Courage Without Fear", ""Navigating The Beach", "Uncharted Territory", "Combat Training", "D-Day", "Deadweight", "They Know We're Coming", "Caged In" and "Retaliation" that really drive the narrative of the visuals and also the storyline of the film that is quite similar to that of a video game where everything simply repeats itself including the music. Beck does his best to make variations on the material that is quite repetitive and turse throughout the album and the film. "Live Die Repeat (End Titles)" ends the album just as it started, with the pulsing main theme with thumping electronics and percussion then reprising the main theme for full orchestra.
Watertower's album is a nice one and there is more than enough music to satisfy fans of the film and of Christophe Beck's. I enjoyed about half the score because it is original and different, but the main and major league problem with it is that it sounds way too much like every other score of this type that has been released over the last several years. There are great ideas throughout here with a solid main theme, but unfortunately the negative is that is the heavy electronics that literally bury the orchestra from actually given the score that grand operatic sound that it really called for. It can really be described as great video game music with a pulse in a sense that is what the film is anyway. As much as I liked parts of this score, I can't quite recommend "Edge Of Tomorrow" as whole and it's a shame because the parts that I did like are very inspired and fun. A reluctant thumbs down.