Score Reviews‎ > ‎

Central Intelligence by Theodore Shapiro and Ludwig Göransson (Review)

posted Jul 6, 2016, 12:11 PM by Leo Mayr

Central Intelligence
 is your typical cop buddy comedy. While the film really isn't special in any way, there have certainly been worse ways to spend your time. Sadly, the same can be said for the score. Theodore Shapiro and Ludwig Göransson created a fun blend of "generic modern comedy" and espionage thriller. The score opens with its main theme, a subtle yet fun electronic piece that uses genre clichés for great effect. The music feels a lot like your typical modern government espionage thriller, only more lighthearted. Together with the opening titles of the film, this makes for a promising start.

What follows is a very basic but functional score. As modern comedy scores tend to go, there are a lot of electronic sounds and textures to the music, but the instrumental core is not neglected. Throughout the score, elements from the main theme are used to establish a basic narrative connection. Most of the time, you'll be hearing suspenseful music, with a handful of short emotional parts and the occasional burst of exciting action. The espionage thriller parts of the score sound very 'authentic' and in some places just a little too serious for a comedy score. The more humorous comedy scoring is more functional than anything else, and when the two sides of the score come together, you'll find the composers created a solid comedy effort. The few emotional pieces however feel disconnected from the more serious spy thriller approach, but they do their job at underlining the film's emotional scenes. The only connection between those emotional parts is the instrumentation, forms of character development are abscent from the film and score alike. Occasionally, the score bursts into intense action segments that fit in nicely with the rest of the music and work nicely with the film's action scenes. Overall, the score seems to only really bridge the gaps between the film's comedy dialogues and licensed songs, so there are a lot of short ideas scattered around that don't fit together too well, but end up working ok with the film.

Overall, the score rarely leaves the background of the film which, given the talented composers, feels like wasted potential. Besides the great opening titles, only few other pieces of score take the spotlight during the movie. There is certainly a lot of talent and potential here, but the score just ends up feeling too basic and undeveloped. While the composers toying around with genre clichés does lead to a few great moments, the score as a whole is a sufficient but average effort.