Next/Isham

May 23, 2007

 

Next, directed by Lee “Die Another Day” Tamahori and starring Nicolas Cage, Julianne Moore, and Jessica Biel tells the science fiction story of a Las Vegas magician who can see two minutes into the future. To prevent a nuclear terrorist attack the FBI having learned of his amazing powers try to find him in an attempt to prevent the impending disaster. It is very loosely based on the Philip K. Dick novel The Golden Man the author who also gave us the classic Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep which was made into the film Blade Runner. The 70 million dollar budget film was released on April 29th 2007 and the first two weekends have only returned 12 million of the original investment. The reviews of this film are all over the map ranging from “another piece of second-rate dreariness” to “great mindbender” to “only fair”. Perhaps this Paramount distributed film will fare better in the DVD rental market.

A veteran of over 100 films Mark Isham approached this score with a little more sublety than the crew at Media Ventures might have. Yes the action cues such as “Pier 18”, “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished”, and “Second And Broadway” are quite percussive, fast moving, and energetic but certainly not over the top like some cues from other scores. Put these cues in the classification of action underscore. “8:09” features a simple yet effective theme featuring the piano work of Rich Ruttenberg, who performs with a soft delicate touch. The arrangement is so quiet that add a cool breeze, lake, and some nature sounds and you’ll want to nap! Don’t worry it doesn’t last long because “Give Me Two Minutes”, the next track, is the first of the action underscore sequences and you being able to close your eyes lasted a whole two minutes! “Destiny” takes you right back to that pond with an even better arrangement of the “8:09” theme. The theme grows on you upon repeated listens and in the opinion of this reviewer is the highlight of score. “A Few Minutes Of Your Time” includes this motif with some really fine suspense underscore arranged around it conveying a true sense of eerieness. The soundtrack is sequenced nicely between action, suspense, and quieter moments to make for a more than acceptable listening experience.

Isham, being the professional that he is, likely delivered to the producers/director exactly the type of material that they were looking for. It is original but nothing out of the ordinary. The film has all of the ingredients for an action Hollywood film which is why they strayed from the novel. If they had gone with a more faithful interpretation of the Dick story it might have made for a better film but it would have drifted too far away from the Hollywood template for making lots of money. Having said that, fans of the film will love it and want to play it over and over again. While it is certainly not the best score that Isham has done it is certainly more than adequate and will please most of his followers.


Track Listing:
8:09 (2:10)

Give Me Two Minutes (3:19)

Destiny (2:07)

Pier 18 (3:37)

Carlotti Defines (2:50)

A Few Minutes of Your Time (3:19)

Multiple Point Surveillance (2:34)

Who Knows What’s Safe (4:04)

Breaking News (4:08)

Second and Broadway (2:44)

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished (2:06)

Looking for a License Plate (2:09)

Shadow Group (2:04)

All Elements Execute! (2:05)

A Show of Character (3:39)

I Believe Anything’s Possible (3:41)

Running Time: 46 minutes 29 seconds

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