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Last Resort by Robert Duncan (Review)

posted Jul 30, 2013, 9:07 PM by Kaya Savas

Robert Duncan is one of the most notable and established composers working in television. Robert is most known for his work on the hit series Castle on ABC, but has also written music for shows like Missing, The Unit, Lie To Me, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The Chicago Code and more. Last Resort may be some of his most thematically strong writing and was unfortunately cut short due to the series being cancelled. The show follows a crew of Navy SEALs aboard a submarine that receives orders for a nuke launch. The captain decides not to follow the orders and in a series of events the crew becomes branded as traitors and must find out who in the US government has framed them. The music is thematically strong, moving and emotionally driven. It calls back to the great scores of 90’s action dramas and leaves you with the urge to re-listen once the last track ends.

What Duncan does so extremely well here is that the music is the prime driving factor of the story. Pulsating strings and low brass create tension, excitement and awe-inspiring moments of bravado. I hate to compare it to Hans Zimmer’s Crimson Tide, but it has the same effectiveness of what Zimmer was able to do there. I mean that in the best compliment possible as I love Crimson Tide. Duncan’s score is vastly different in style, but I got the same chills and emotional builds I found in Zimmer’s score that I found here. That’s another great aspect of Duncan’s music, he lays the emotions down thick. This score is rich with moments of great action emotion. The stuff you find in scores like The Rock or Speed. It has that momentous weight behind it that carries it headstrong, even in the quieter more subtle moments. The music can be very delicate at times while still carrying the weight of the story. The action tracks are exciting and fueled with substance, and Duncan does an amazing job at creating tension. Overall this was an incredibly satisfying listen and one that really showcases Robert Duncan’s abilities as a composer.

Last Resort is a fantastic score, one you wouldn’t expect was for a broadcast TV show. Robert Duncan has raised the bar as to what you can accomplish on a week by week basis on TV. Last Resort boasts great thematic work, rich bravado, thrilling action and delicate emotion. Anyone who is a fan of 90’s action scores and simple thematic scoring executed masterfully should definitely check out Last Resort.