Score Reviews‎ > ‎

London Has Fallen by Trevor Morris (Review)

posted Apr 1, 2016, 12:28 PM by Kaya Savas

Trevor Morris brings his brand of action-writing back for London Has Fallen, the follow up to Olympus Has Fallen. With Antoine Fuqua not returning to the franchise, the sequel obviously is taking a bit of a different direction. Iranian director Babak Najafi clearly brings the hyper-stylized action style to this film verses Antoine Fuqua’s more focused approach to popcorn action. Trevor Morris brings many of the elements that made Olympus Has Fallen a true 90’s throwback action score and infuses it with more modern elements.

The best part about London Has Fallen is indeed Trevor Morris’ high-octane score. Musically he is able to do what the film was intending to do, but unfortunately the film as a whole misfires. Structurally, the score provides propulsive melodic action that carries weight yet still feels much lighter than the first score. And by lighter I mean actual weightiness, like if music had mass. I think the heavier use of electronics this time around allows the score to be a bit more nimble and dynamic. I really don’t think you can say one score is better than the other, they feel cut of the same cloth but totally different as well. The score calls back to the first one briefly such as in “Motorcade / Marine One Lands”. It’s a little reminder that Olympus Has Fallen was a much more patriotic score and Morris uses it more for the emotional connection here. The final act adds some of that bravado and heroism at just the right moment, that it lifts the narrative all the way to the conclusion.

London Has Fallen is a fascinating score because essentially Trevor Morris is scoring the same film twice except with a completely different style (I mean they have pretty similar plot structures). While the film itself misses the mark and bites off more than it can chew, Morris’ score adds a great modern element to the formula to make it engaging and melodic even if the deep-seeded patriotic heroism takes the backseat here. Morris is the type of action composer that knows how to bring emotional swells into the genre to truly work with the editing. While London Has Fallen stumbles as a film, it still leaves us with a fantastic effort from Trevor as he maps out a great modern action score that still has the composer’s voice instead of the industry’s.