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Deadpool by Tom Holkenborg aka Junkie XL (Review)

posted Feb 1, 2016, 7:45 PM by Kaya Savas

Deadpool is one of the most anticipated films of the year because finally the character that was wronged so badly in X-Men Origins: Wolverine is getting the proper treatment. The big draw about Deadpool as a character is of course his wit, humor, vulgarity and breaking the 4th wall. Even though comic book movies are still making tons of money, they are without a doubt stale as hell. Same plots, generic feel and no emotion are the key problems. Deadpool aims to shake things up, and aiding in that is Tom Holkenborg who is one of the most in-demand composers these days. Tom is no stranger to the superhero genre having worked with Hans Zimmer on The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Man Of Steel. He is also joining with Hans once again for Batman Vs. Superman coming up soon. But for now, the Mad Max: Fury Road composer adds his unique abilities to give Deadpool a kick-ass attitude as well as resonating emotional undercurrents.

Holkenborg delivers the goods in a swirling mesh of awesome electronic and orchestral scoring. Percussion is the name of the game for Holkenborg as is evident in his past scores, and Deadpool is no different. Tom’s signature sounding percussion drives the action of the score. Now, an important thing for the music to have would be attitude given that the titular character is a big mouth sarcastic trash talker. The score handles the attitude of the character and the tone of the film quite impressively. Nothing is ever over the top yet it's still pretty high octane, and Deadpool’s theme is just showy enough to get things fired up without being overbearing. A fun coincidence though; a friend did point out that Deadpool’s theme sounds pretty close to Harry Gregson-Williams’ “Money Run” from The Taking Of Pelham 123. Anyway, another big part of the score that surprised me was how well the emotional character moments worked. I think a big reason why this score works so well is because it’s not all “fun and games”. There is a great deal of fragility in the emotional scenes that then amplify the stakes towards the final stretch. So while some of the score could be labeled as “fun”, the whole narrative takes itself very seriously from start to finish. Now, what does work well to punch through the score and add even more of the Deadpool character is of course the song selections, which feel like his favorite hits from his personal iTunes.

The score delivers a very entertaining ride. Synths and electronics flesh out Deadpool as a character and give us the tone and attitude of the score, while the orchestral elements help add spectacle and gravitas in the final act. Deadpool’s theme is on point and the body of the score delivers action and emotion with a great flow and energy. Holkenborg is on a roll and is really adding his signature flavors to spice up Hollywood's studio tentpoles, and Deadpool is a great example of why he was a perfect fit as composer here.