Review Summary: Just like the writers of the multi-million dollar Pirates franchise, Hans Zimmer is running out of ideas.
When it was announced that a fourth Pirates
film was going to be made, the small portion of the world that still cared about the franchise braced themselves for a disaster. With a decidedly mixed attitude towards the second and third films in the franchise, and with Gore Verbinki's absence, it only seemed likely that On Stranger Tides
would not make as big an impression as the previous films in the franchise. And sadly, the audience was right. On Stranger Tides
was just as bad as anticipated, and existed for no other reason than to promote the 3D technology, which was also hideously used as well. And suitably, Hans Zimmer's score reflected just how bad the film was.
Hans is no doubt a fantastic composer, however, in recent times, his recycling as become a bit too obvious. A number of pieces from the score from The Dark Knight
seem to be recycled from some of his eighties works, but it's excusable since the score is too darned excellent for its own good anyway. Hans even delivered some of his finest work with Inception
, which was some of his freshest and most original work to date, while still containing the "BWOOOOOOOONNNNNGGGGG"s that are Zimmer's trademarks, and some of his others too. But it's all to clear here that he set the bar too high for himself with Inception
, and that he has only existing works to use.
Perhaps the biggest problem with On Stranger Tides
is that every second song sounds exactly the same. We've already heard stuff like "Guilty of Being Innocent of Jack Sparoow" and "Palm Tree Escape" before, and it's already been done in his previous works. Rodrigo Y Gabriella make a few appearances here, but are limited to mostly Spanish guitar works. I love Spanish guitar as much as the next guy, but all of them are so dull and lacking in any excitement whatsoever. And when the Spanish guitar bits do shine ("Angelica", for instance), they're given a limited time and don't really amount to anything. There is one track that redeems it however, the eight minute "Mermaids". It's one incredibly creepy track that is sure to give people chills, and has an unsettling atmosphere from the first note to the last. The chanting adds a mystical air, and towards the end, it gets epic and finishes in a grand fashion. Problem is, it's the one new track, and the rest is all stuff from the previous films. In addition, all the original music on this album is thirty five minutes
. If you discounted all the pointless remixes, you have thirty five minutes of actual film score, and while it's also insulting that a number of cues from the actual film aren't included, sadly they aren't much to write home about either. Most of them are recycled Zimmer's score for Clash of the Titans
, and they weren't even good the first time either.
So, if you're a fan of the previous films' scores, good for you, and I'm sure you'll find enjoyment in this as well, but for the rest of us film score enthusiasists, there really is no need to rush out and buy this. You'll already feel guilty having it in your iPod or whatever MP3 device you have, as too much of it is stuff you most likely already have. While the music may fit the film, it also must stand out in its own, and the score simply fails in that regard as well.