Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Robin Hood by Marc Streitenfeld (Review)

Marc Streitenfeld is an interesting composer to look at. He started out as an assistant to Hans Zimmer and served as music editor on many of Hans’ scores the past decade. Through Hans is where he met Ridley Scott. After working on 7 films together Hans and Ridley took their separate ways, which some people still wonder about. Honestly, it was most likely a friendly separation than some of the “creative differences” separations you hear about between directors and composers.

Anyway, after the one night stand with Harry Gregson-Williams (his brother's composer) on Kingdom Of Heaven it was Marc Streitenfeld who stepped in. Marc has composed 4 films for Ridley Scott, which brings his total amount of scores to 4. Yes, Marc Streitenfeld has only worked with Ridley Scott (and 1 film with Ridley’s son Jake Scott). So 5 scores total.

Ok, so to the score. This was considered Marc’s true test as a composer since it was his first huge scope film. Does he succeed? Immensely. The score is tremendous as it’s a lush mix of grand orchestrations, subtle intrigue and a dollop of fantastical epic. It’s also 100% Streitenfeld. The man does have a style and it is unique. His sound is unmistakable if you’ve heard his past scores and it manages to flourish here in full glory. The track “Killing Walter” will call to mind Body Of Lies and American Gangster. His German background seeps through here with some of the action cues. I wouldn’t call them reminiscent of anything Zimmer has done, but there is a touch of that good old Zimmer sound especially in the heroic theme of the film and the battle scenes. We have a touch of celtic flavor in here as well.

Overall this is such a colorful score that swells with so much character. Sides of it bring us to the menacing darkness of Godfrey’s character while at other points we have delicate tragedy such as in “Nottingham Burns”. Then the grandiose heroism of the story is interwoven into it. I think the only think lacking is some sort of cohesive emotional journey. While I know the CD isn’t a full representation of the score I can’t help but feel that the score has slight trouble progressing the story as an accompaniment to the narrative. It does the job, but alas won’t leave a long lasting impact on you. I also felt this way while watching the film. Nonetheless, it was fun and entertaining summer fare. It definitely enveloped me and grasped me, but it just missed the mark of being something incredible.

1 comment:

  1. I've heard lots of opinions about this movie, but I loved it. Lots of action, a cool story, great cinematography and yes the music really fit well with the setting.

    Here is a little video I found of Marc Streitenfeld talking about the difficulties of scoring this film.