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Edge Of Tomorrow by Christophe Beck (Review)

posted Jul 24, 2014, 2:43 PM by Kaya Savas

Edge Of Tomorrow has probably been the most impressive summer tentpole that went completely unnoticed by the general public. It was a fantastic sci-fi ride with great writing and execution. Doug Liman has usually been hit or miss, but with a great script from McQuarrie setting the stage it was a great ride. Unfortunately, Christophe Beck’s score didn’t do much in terms of supporting this great picture, and in the end was probably one of the more uninspired scores of the year so far. Ramin Djawadi was originally attached to score Edge Of Tomorrow (formerly known as All You Need Is Kill), but due to the ol’ creative differences claim he was taken off the project. Christophe Beck stepped in with more than an adequate amount of time to compose a score, but disappointingly couldn’t muster up anything beyond an electronic swish-swash of noises.

Edge Of Tomorrow's plot plays out like a video game where Tom Cruise’s character inherits an alien species’ ability to reset points in time. So, when he dies, he sort of starts over from a certain point. The script handles the Groundhog Day premise with ease, but the score doesn’t really do anything to play with that idea. We get a decent heroic theme in the first track, but that slowly makes way for generic electronics and Inception “braaahhhmmms”. There are some good moments here, and thankfully the score does not detract from the film. I’ve seen great films with bad scores that actually take you out of the narrative, but thankfully this score stays mainly out of the way. But because it stays out of the way, it remains largely forgettable. The best writing on display really are the main titles and end credits, and all the stuff in the middle feels largely void of any substantial identity. I do get that this is Beck’s first flat-out action score, but I think that this movie presented itself with a great canvas for a composer. But, if a composer as good as Djawadi was replaced then maybe there were some overpowering orders from the top that prevented Beck from doing anything beyond a generic action score.

Edge Of Tomorrow is that rare great movie with a forgettable score. The score does its job of providing noise and chaos, but other than that we don’t have much. There is no character nuances, no notable recurring motifs, no emotional draw and a lack of fun melodic arcs. Edge Of Tomorrow is an example of a filler score meant to do nothing more than to fill space and try to make the film feel edgy and cool. There are hints of some good stuff happening, but it's mainly drowned out. The score is worth a listen if you liked the film (which I really did), but honestly you won’t miss much if you skip over this.