"The Peacemaker (1997)"
La-La Land Records
Disc 1: 15 Tracks/Disc Time: 74:15
Disc 2: 13 Tracks/Disc Time: 78:00
Total Set Time: 152:16
Grade: B+ (BEST OF 2014)
In the late 1990's, Oscar Winning Director Steven Spielberg and his friends and partners, record producer and label own David Geffen and Disney CEO Jeffery Katzenberg all joined forces to create what would be a very special film company in Dreamworks Pictures, which would also feature its own record label and also produce television series such as the hit series, Spin City for example which premiered in the Fall 1996. Their first film project produced and film in Summer of 1996, was the action-thriller, "The Peacemaker" which was their spectacular debut a year later in the Fall of 1997 to mixed reviews, but has gained a very solid reputation as good action-thriller 14 years later. The film stars Nicole Kidman as Julia Kelly, a CIA analyst tracking down alot of stolen nuclear warheads stolen from a Russian military train after a bomb was set off to cover up the theft. With the help of a hard nosed, but charming Military Sergeant Thomas DeVoe (George Clooney, "Syriana") they both uncover a conspiracy involving a bitter Serbian politician hell bent on sending a message to the world at a United Nations conference in New York. The film did very well at the box office and has enjoyed renwed life on video, DVD and Blu-Ray.
With Dreamworks Pictures starting its cinematic voyage, its musical department was now headed by one of the more creative composers at that time and that was Oscar Winner Hans Zimmer who had scored major hits in both The Lion King, Crimson Tide, Broken Arrow and The Preacher's Wife. Zimmer was one of the more accomplished and creative composers due to his unique intropolation of electronics, choir, and full use of live orchestra that made his scores to Black Rain, Days Of Thunder, Bird On A Wire, and A League Of Their Own that memorable. After reinventing the action genre with Black Rain, Crimson Tide and Broken Arrow, Zimmer was more than up to the task for providing the powerhouse and suspenseful score for the film.
The score gets off to a racious start with the terrific opening sequence in the film "Voice of God / Vassily's Dilemma" and "Hijack" which serves as the film's opening titles and in which Zimmer introduces the score's primary main theme which throughout the entire suite plays with gusto with lots of brass, choir, flute and percussion with ethnic instrumentation thrown in for good measure. Throughout the tracks, Zimmer masterfully underscores the sequence subtly while at the same time building and building it towards something immense without being overpowering as his latest scores have done. The album trauncated these tracks missing some wonderful material that shouldn't have been edited out in the first place. There's some enjoyably fun suspense material which is pretty much out of the "Broken Arrow" (another score of Zimmer's that I really love) textbook that gives the score its fair share of nuance and building suspense while giving us variations of the main theme in tracks such as "It Wasn't An Accident/Exporting Good Will/Smoke Screen", "Bombs On The Move/Alexsander Kodoroff/Kodoroff's Alive", "One Unaccounted For/Dusan Gets Bomb/Dusan's Speech", and "Forty-Four E/Dusan's Confession", which intropolates a theme for the villain of the film which is as simple as the man himself. The score features alot of Zimmer's trademark action material in great tracks such as "Keep On Truckin'/Head of Transportation/Hasselhoff/Escape", "Car Chase", "Get Me Authorized", "Dusan With Bomb/Dusan in Church" and "Dusan Kills Himself", the last tracks filled with frenetic and exhilarting musical action that it doesn't get better than this version of Zimmer that is really missed. "Dr. Kelly Is O.K. / Dr. Kelly Got 10 More" ends the score on a lighter musical note that reprises the score's theme one last time. "The Peacemaker Trailer Music" is a gem composed by Harry Gregson-Williams who conducted the score for the films' theatrical trailer that is definitely in the vein of Zimmer and showcases the score's primary themes and a nice little find to add to this album.
Originally released on the Dreamworks label when the film came out, the soundtrack featured a healthy selection of the lengthy score meticulously assembled by Zimmer himself in suite form which was a very good listen. The score is nowhere near perfect or one of Zimmer's best and definitely far from his worst and yet, I easily have to say that it definitely is one the last, best action scores he's written in the form that made him a star. Of course, the Academy Award nominated Gladiator and Black Hawk Down would follow, but they don't really have the same impact as this one does in this genre anyway. The score works perfectly with the film and the album is a pretty lengthy and over the top score that is fun and vintage Zimmer. I definitely recommend this one which still a good reminder of how great Zimmer could be and now what he is now. Strong Thumbs up!