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Bounty Killer by Greg Edmonson (Review)

posted Oct 17, 2013, 7:52 PM by Koray Savas

Greg Edmonson, best known for his brilliant scores for the Uncharted game series, has most recently penned the score for the independent action comedy Bounty Killer. The movie has traces of social and political satire, taking place in a post-apocalyptic America where corporations took the place of national government and turned the world into a wasteland. Bounty hunters reign supreme in seeking out corporate executives and such. The score is loud, proud, and fun, but it also lacks heart.

The filmmakers must have been avid fans of Uncharted, no doubt it being temped with the games' music. The score is very much in the same vein, almost being interchangeable with Edmonson's previous work. There are moments in the score where little stingers and flutters of strings and percussion sound like they were lifted straight from Nathan Drake's globetrotting adventures. Nevertheless, this is bombastic orchestral action scoring in all its forgotten glory. If only the big Hollywood execs would take notice of music like this, we wouldn't be drowning in sound design and Inception rip-offs passing off as integral film scores. Edmonson's knack for percussion and strings interplay reminds me a lot of someone like John Powell sans the electronics. The best thing going for the score is that its simply a pure joy to listen to. Lots of films and scores these days just aren't fun anymore, and Edmonson smacks it out of the park in that regard. The music is big, brassy, and in-your-face in the best possible way. Listen to "Airstream Escape" and tell me you don't miss that type of stuff in blockbuster scoring. The score's only serious issue is the lack of a unified core. The music doesn't have a strongly defined soul without any development, let alone recurring themes.

Bounty Killer does an extraordinary job of hooking in your ears and keeping you entertained, but it's also missing the key ingredient of any great score - thematics. Stay for the old school excitement, leave for the lack of any themes or motifs. Listeners would be better off listening to Edmonson's Uncharted scores to find both in one package.