David Buckley surprised the hell out of me with his score to The Forbidden Kingdom, which was the last score of his to get a release. It was fun, fresh and carried you on an emotional journey. Buckley switches gears for From Paris With Love. While the score is done in an incredibly entertaining and stylish manor it lacks a thematic identity.
Buckley is a friend and collaborator of Harry Gregson-Williams and the Harry influence can be heard prominently throughout the score. When I saw the movie I smiled every time I heard a “harryism” because it just felt perfect with what was going on. The music is heavy on the electronic sound and propels you through with vivid rhythms and arrangements. “Welcome To Paris, Baby” is my favorite track. It’s one of the few tracks where the music just carries you as the listener. That’s another point where the solo listening experiences suffers a bit. It’s clear that there were many short cues composed and when that’s the case it makes it very hard to make a CD album that represents the essence of the score.
For some reason I found myself comparing the score to Harry Gregson-Williams’ score to The Taking Of Pelham 123. The styles and approaches are similar and they both feature John Travolta in very similar roles.
The score was fun. It’s nothing new or unique, but given the material it was a fun experience for me. The CD was only released in Europe and since I always opt for a CD versus iTunes I imported it. If you’re a Harry Gregson-Williams fan then you’ll enjoy the score. Otherwise it may be a tough sell unless you really enjoyed the film.