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Barry on autopilot
on 29 October 2003
Much as I love John Barry’s work and his Bond music, I have to say that this score is rather tired sounding and I get the impression that Barry was running on automatic pilot when he composed it. Mind, the film as a whole had a wearying feel to it, so perhaps this isn’t surprising.
By and large the music is traditional Barry tension stuff – slow build up to climax, but it lacks the inspiration of what he composed for his earlier Bond scores. The best of these cues is ‘Airship To Silicon Valley’. Despite what I’ve just said about lack of inspiration, the action music is actually quite good and is one of Barry’s punchier compositions, sometimes compared to the action music from OHMSS. It appears in three cues: ‘Snow Job’, ‘He’s Dangerous’ and ‘Golden Gate Fight’. The complaint I’d have about it is that it’s repeated in these cues with little or no variation, which is a bit of a let down. Disappointingly the good old James Bond Theme makes only one appearance at the end of ‘May Day Jumps’.
The main theme is a good one and is used in two cues as a love theme ('Bond Meets Stacey' & 'Wine With Stacey'), but doesn’t make any other appearance within the score, which for John Barry is quite unusual. Personally, I think it would have made a good action cue if beefed up a little.
Overall, while this is OK to listen to, it’s not a score that encourages repeated listening. It’s not the weakest Bond score of all, but it is Barry’s weakest. Disappointing.