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Soundtrack Review

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The Predator (2018)
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Henry Jackman
Label: Lakeshore Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 28 September 2018

Lakeshore Records release The Predator original motion picture soundtrack. The album features original music by composer Henry Jackman. From the black depths of outer space to the backwoods of southern Georgia, the Predators come to hunt in Shane Black’s explosive reinvention of the beloved series. Now, the universe’s most lethal hunters are stronger, smarter and deadlier than ever before. And only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and an evolutionary biology professor can prevent all humanity from becoming the Predators’ trophies...

I'm incredibly torn on Henry Jackman's (The Interview; Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle; Pixels The Movie) score for The Predator. Instead of heading in a new direction, Jackman has gone down the route of pretty much channeling the spirit of Alan Silvestri's score from the 1987 movie Predator. This to me makes little to no sense. As the two movies are not connected and the producers have let it be known that this film was written to take the franchise off in a new and interesting direction... why then have the music ape the original? And while Jackman professes to have always enjoyed Silvestri's original score... why on earth would he want to reinvent it. Sure, the odd nod here and there if you must... but if you didn't know better you'd swear blind that this was all Silvestri, reusing his old material and adding a few bits and pieces that were cut from the original and his work on the Back to the Future scores.

What was the director thinking? Could he not afford Silvestri? Was his brief to Jackman to mimic the original score as closely as possible? There are numerous themes that have been "borrowed" almost in their entirety. And isn't it an insult to Jackman's creative talents (of which he's aptly proved he has in abundance in numerous previous commissions) that he was basically bought in to "plagiarise" (but just different enough as to not be actionable) another composer's work?

Yes, Jackman puts his own spin on it and the themes he delivers are incredible, but wouldn't a more sensible approach have been to allow him to create his own sound; his own themes, taking the movie in a new direction and not having one foot firmly planted in the past.

The album contains 25 tracks (54 min, 45 sec) with some beautifully crafted new themes. I love this score, but I still can't fathom why it is what it is.


Darren Rea

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