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Soundtrack Review

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Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Henry Jackman
Label: Sony Classical
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 15 December 2017

Henry Jackman's original score for Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is released through Sony Classical. In this brand-new adventure the game has changed as four teenagers in detention are sucked into the world of Jumanji. When they discover an old video game console with a game they’ve never heard of, they decide to play and are immediately thrust into the game’s jungle setting, in the bodies of the avatar characters they chose. What they discover is that you don’t just play Jumanji - Jumanji plays you. To win, they’ll have to go on the most dangerous adventure of their lives, or they’ll be stuck in the game forever…

Henry Jackman's score for Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle has some pretty big shoes to fill. James Horner's score for the original 1995 movie featured an impressive collection of memorable themes. And, for the most part, Jackman manages to hold his own by delivering an equally interesting number of set pieces. 'Digging up the Past' actually delivers a beautiful and very subtle homage to Horner's original score.

The album contains 29 tracks (1 hr, 24 sec) and, on balance, I felt this had more in common with the work of Alan Silvestri. I was reminded of the energy of the music for Back to the Future and Predator on more than a few occasions - most notably on the tracks 'Seaplane McDonough'; 'Albino Rhinos'; 'Retrieving the Emerald'; 'The Jaguars'; and 'Call Out Its Name'. There are also elements that reminded me of Horner's score for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.

The final track, 'Back to School' is a more upbeat, modern track. At first it seemed a little out of place in the score, but then when you compare it to 'Brantford High' it becomes clear that Jackman used a more modern approach for the "real world" elements of the movie and more conventional orchestrated segments for the main "in game" segments.

It's a good score. Personally I still think Horner delivered a more powerful collection of action themes and beautiful melancholic segments, but Jackman turns in a great soundtrack in a similar vein.


Darren Rea

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