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Bank$tas by Steve London (Review)

posted Dec 30, 2014, 3:38 PM by Kaya Savas

Bank$tas is a piss-poor excuse of a raunchy comedy made with practically no budget, but also no talent either. Two finance grads get hired by a top investment bank only to discover their boss is creating an investment fraud scheme with student loans. Cue the sex, drugs and rock and roll. If you can get through the trailer you’ll notice that it looks like it was made by film school dropouts. I can’t say it’s any better for the score by Steve London. The score feels like a hashed up and phoned in attempt of copying that gritty comedy style that other composers and filmmakers are doing much better.

I could go on bashing this really bad film, but instead of me saying how much is sucks I will try and analyze why it sucks. First of all, no central thematic structure (any structure for that matter). Each track feels like it was scoring different scenes in the same style. It’s an electronic score that just reuses loops and beats. All the textures and “stylings” feel like something cooked up in Garage Band or someone who is vaguely trying to channel the Ocean's Eleven scores but hasn't seen the films since they were in theaters. Nothing ever amounts to anything or leads anywhere. For comparison let’s look at a great composer like Christopher Lennertz who is absolutely owning the R-rated comedy genre right now. His scores are tons of fun, characteristic, stylistic and work with the comedy happening onscreen. You can look at something like Horrible Bosses or Ride Along and see how music should work in a comedy of this nature. Bank$tas is an example of how it fails. This is the result when a composer is handed a poorly made film probably filled with the writers' and director's favorite music as temp, and decides to phone it in. The music opens with a terrible original rap song, sort of moves into some jazz sounding stylings, and ends up in the 70’s porn category of sounds. And if the opening original rap song wasn’t enough, don’t worry because they have a closing "End Title" rap song too. Be sure to check out tracks like “Limp Dicks” and “Smoking Strawberry Fields”, because everyone knows that titties + weed = comedy.

Save yourself the embarrassment and waste of time. Bank$tas is a piss-poor excuse of a movie and a piss-poor example of the craft of film scoring. I’m amazed this got a soundtrack release, simply amazed. Filmmakers, and composers specifically, should study this if they want to know what not to do. The music feels so mechanized and inorganic, as if a human had nothing to do with it. Zero emotions, zero character, zero atmosphere, zero structure and a style that would best suit a toddler banging on one of those Casio keyboards you had in pre-school. I don't wanna come across an old bitter dad (I'm only 27 anyways), because I love comedies of all nature. I love stoner comedies, I love dick jokes and physical comedy involving bodily fluids. Gratuitous nudity? Sure, toss it in... as long as the comedy works! This Is The End? Hilarious. Henry Jackman's score? Perfect for it. This wreck of a score and film thinks its funny without ever being funny, and that's why it fails so badly. Bank$tas gets the coveted zero star rating, I think a first for Film.Music.Media at the time of this review.