Music By Fernando Velasquez Soundtrack Album Review
Sony Classical/25 Tracks/Disc Time: 75:26
Earlier this year we had a rather lackluster reimagining of “Hercules” in “Legend of Hercules 3D” , Paramount Pictures’ released their own version of the famed mythological figure this time banking on action star Dwayne Johnson as the titular character under the capable directorial hands of Director Brett Ratner (“Tower Heist”, “The Rush Hour Trilogy”, “Red Dragon”). This incarnation features Hercules having endured his legendary twelve labors, the Greek demigod has his life as a sword-for-hire tested when the King of Thrace and his daughter seek his aid in defeating a tyrannical warlord.
As a former music video director, Ratner has worked with a variety of composers throughout his career starting with the great jazz legend Lalo Schifrin (“Money Talks”, “The Rush Hour Trilogy”, “After The Sunset”), Danny Elfman (“The Family Man”, “Red Dragon”), John Powell (“X-Men: The Last Stand”) and Christophe Beck (“Tower Heist”). Each of these films featuring a terrific musical mastery by each contributor to make their respective films that much better. Now enter Fernando Velasquez, who has for the last few years started to make his mark here in the U.S. after starting his career in Spain with the acclaimed film, “The Orphanage”. Films such as “Devil”, and “The Impossible” soon happend and now is the fresh voice to bring the great legend of Hercules to life once again.
The score is epic in scope, but also throws in a modern contemporary edge with some really cool rock guitar and drums and in a way the score reminds me of what the late Joel Goldsmith did for the film “Kull The Conqueror” as well what John Debney did for “The Scorpion King”, which also starred Johnson in the title role. This is a big bombastic score that surprisingly works and while it’s not a perfect score, it is full of themes and expansive musical material that fans of the scores’ I mentioned.
Opening in grand scope with “Son Of Zeus” with a lovely chorus and tranquil strings before switching to a bombastic sound that would be the set piece for alot action motifs in the score as it introduces the electric guitar to cap it all off. Highlighted by the tracks “Pirates Camp”, “Bessi’s Valley”, “Bessi Battle”, “Training”, “The Battle”, and “Final Fight & Tydeus’ Death”, these tracks feature some of the best material the score has to offer when it comes to bombastic action. Filled with heroic and melodic themes throughout each track, Velaquez really unleashes some real musical power with the orchestra much like Hercules himself with his power and his might. While the action really does dominate the majority of the score, there are some nice quiet and what you would call tender moments in a film such as this that give the score a balance while keeping the scores’ central theme in tact. Featured in the tracks “The Campfire”, and “I Will Believe In You”, with its’ lovely chorus track that gets a great rendition in “Choir Theme”, really show the score’s dramatic depth aside from the solid action that is dominant throughout.
Sony Classical’s album is an album that is totally packed full of fun material and captures the epic quality of the score. This album also full exposes composer Fernando Velasquez to U.S. audiences even further as this is his first major project and should garner him even more work here in the years to come. “Hercules” isn’t a perfect film, but the score does exactly what it’s supposed to do: Thrill and thrill again! Very strong thumbs up!