Review Summary: A superb soundtrack for a superb adaptation of an Elmord Leonard novel for the big screen.
In his novel by the name of "Film Club", issued in 2007, Canadian writer/movie critic/book critic/art documentary host David Gilmour (nothing to do with David Gilmour from Pink Floyd whatsoever) makes a detailed comment about the nature of the crime novels written by Elmord Leonard. His characters had a cool and accurate way of setting their whereabouts within the novel, making the latter a fun yet witty read. During the last 50 years, several of Leonard’s books were adapted for the big screen, yet Gilmour states that it wasn’t until after the dawn of the 90’s that movie directors really
managed to capture the slick feeling and the “black” witty humor of Leonard’s novels on film. For the record, Gilmour reports two directors, the critically acclaimed Quentin Tarantino, who made “Jackie Brown” in 1993 and Steven Soderbergh who made “Out of Sight” in 1998. While the former movie became famous quite fast, the latter was buried in the dust of time, even though its final quality and its cosntituent elements were highly praised by film critics worldwide. Apart from the quality of the director (check out the highly underrated “The Limey”), the adaptation of an Elmord Leonard novel for the big screen and its starring actors (George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez), a huge asset for the film was its music score, featuring the guru of cool Electronica David Holmes, among other critically acclaimed artists.
The film is about this big time bank robber, Jack Foley (Clooney), who resides in the fine state of California. Except from being a compulsive bank robber, using only his brain and no guns whatsoever, Foley has a profound talent in escaping from prisons too. So, he aims to escape from his new sentence as well, with the help of his Afro-American (critically acclaimed Ving Rhames) and Latino (critically acclaimed Luis Guzmán) gang members. The escape is successful, however the twist in the plot is that Foley’s gang holds a US Marshall as hostage (JLo) and a subconscious sexual interplay is being developed between her and Foley. The really cool and clever sexual interplay between JLo and Clooney forms the one end of the pedestal, with the other being the continuation of Foley’s criminal activities, with JLo hunting him, while flirting with him.
The backbone of the soundtrack imitates the slick structure of the film. The lines of actors, taken from some of the most characteristic scenes in the film are being used as samples in the beginning, throughout or in the end of each song and instrumentals. The span of the songs and interludes clearly reflects the cultural/ethnic composition and the general impact of each member of Foley’s crew. The music branches off proportionally to groovy Latin pop/rock, Motown soul, and larger-than-life Dean Martin. And then there is David Holmes. Being responsible for 60% of the score and obeying as well in the aforementioned span, he does an excellent job. He composes cool yet minimal lines for bass and drums and places really cool melodies on top, always on par with the corresponding fluctuations in the mood of the film. These melodies are realized with the use of several instruments, with classical guitars, electric guitars playing those funky Motown riffs and the Hammond being only a few.
As already said in the prologue, the film was adored by the critics, but the audience ignored it for unknown reasons. Overall, Out of Sight
is a soundtrack that can work just as well for someone who hasn’t seen the film. That holds because Out of Sight
is one of those rare soundtracks that carry intact the very DNA of the movie they were made for.