Decca Records, 2004

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


Is it too much to expect a soundtrack to an action film to have a score which has a little more of a rock beat to it?

That is precisely what I found myself thinking as I listened to the soundtrack to Thunderbirds, yet another film this year scored by Hans Zimmer (who must be earning some serious overtime pay). With an action-packed theme and kicking off the soundtrack with a beat-oriented version of "Thunderbirds Are Go! Original TV Series Theme," you can't help but think that this is going to be an exciting listen.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Alas, we're wrong. The score quickly dissolves back into traditional film scoring with no real excitement to the listener. While there are passages which suggest serious action on the screen, it doesn't have the same kind of snap that one would have expected, and ends up disappointing on several levels.

Okay, I can understand utilizing the traditional school of film scoring for portions of the soundtrack. Tracks like "Can't Wait To Be A Thunderbird" and "International Rescue" do set the proper tone for the action I can imagine to be occurring on the screen. And, in these instances, Zimmer does utilize his craft well, keeping the listener interested in what is happening, both in the speakers and in their minds.

Yet Thunderbirds is an action movie, and the score sadly is lacking in that kind of energy one would think the music called for. Tracks like "The Hood," "You Need To Grow Up," "Thunderize!" and "Buggy Chase" don't have much snap - or much of anything, for that matter. The soundtrack quickly becomes background material - and while I am no film expert, I would like to think the music should be as much a part of the mood as the action on-screen.

Closing the disc with a take on "Thunderbirds Are GO!" done by Busted is a nice idea, but it does make me wonder who the film (and, in part, the soundtrack) was marketed toward. People my age and a little older remember Thunderbirds as those freaky marionettes on the television show; while the film is definitely marketed towards re-generating the brand name for today's youth, it almost feels like Zimmer aimed for the teeny-boppers with this selection. I don't quite know if it was an appropriate move.

Thunderbirds is a typical soundtrack which could have been a spectacular one, had Zimmer thought outside of the box in terms of the music and its structure. A little less orchestra, a little more drums and electronic noises a la keyboards, and you would have had a disc that could have gone from zero to MACH-3 in ten seconds.

Rating: C+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


© 2004 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Decca Records, and is used for informational purposes only.