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Faster by Clint Mansell (Review)

posted Nov 22, 2010, 12:22 AM by Kaya Savas

Clint Mansell is probably one of the more overlooked composers working today. Some of his work is absolutely extraordinary and I seriously believe that The Fountain is one of the best scores composed in the past decade. Now, while Mansell has his shares of masterpieces including such scores as The Fountain and Moon he does dabble with more mainstream films like Faster. Faster is your run of the mill action revenge flick so for that purpose I'm gonna bring up Harry Gregson-Williams' score to Man On Fire. Yes, these are two different films with two different composers with drastically different styles. Why do I bring up Harry then? Because of how perfect his score was.

Clint Mansell's score is great and is entertaining. However while going through the experience there is one thing that's missing from the score that Harry's had. Character. When I say character I mean the main character from the film. Harry didn't score the film he scored the character, and by doing that he turned your average run of the mill revenge flick into something emotional and heavy. Here Mansell is scoring the film and it definitely works. The score does its job and gets you from point A to point B, but I was never emotionally involved.

Now, Mansell is a talented composer so I don't blame the lack of character in the score on him. I blame it on the writers of the film because if the central character in the film isn't strong and dynamic then there isn't anything for the composer to accentuate. The highlight of the album is definitely "Predators & Prey", which is a track that really embodies Mansell's style and really shows him flexing his stuff. Other than that there isn't much on the album that would go on a highlight reel. Some songs were thrown in to open the CD, and that's a clear notion that the film may not have been score heavy.

So in the end this is a great effort by Mansell to make the most of what isn't really there. I applaud the ability to take a derivative story and try to add something to it, but sometimes if the story is really bad then the score has nothing to hang on. If you want to hear Mansell firing on all cylinders I suggest keeping a lookout for his score to Black Swan.