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Money Train by Mark Mancina (Review)

posted Mar 7, 2011, 3:39 PM by Kaya Savas

La-La Land Records has been really good to Mark Mancina recently as they have released some of his most admired but originally unavailable 90's action scores. With Bad Boys and Speed 2 released we get Money Train. While Money Train isn't Mancina's best score it's still extremely fun. Mark Mancina had a hard time escaping his own shadow after Speed came out. Every action movie wanted him to replicate what he did on Speed but of course Mancina wanted the opposite. Mancina has turned down a few flicks because of that reason. Looking at his scores you do see similar patterns in his style and Money Train is no different. Money Train is sort of the branching between Speed and Twister in terms of style for Mancina in the 90's.

The score exhibits traditional traits of 90's action scoring. It's fast, it's fun, it's abrasive, it's synthy and it has plenty of electric guitars. The central motif that highlights the score isn't as prominent as you might think, which makes it different than most action scores. Everyone is all about themes but Mancina doesn't overplay it. It's there to ground the score but he allows lots of room for character based scoring to fill in the gaps between action. It really has an excellent structure that action scores lack these days. The score does lack a certain intensity though and while it's extremely memorable it doesn't resonate very strongly. If you listen to this and Twister back to back you will see that this is definitely missing that little something.

The release is a welcomed one though and I can't wait to see what else La-La Land has in store for us. With the recent wave of 90's action scores being re-released hopefully they can get the rights to a few more key ones like Twister, The Peacemaker and dare I say The Rock? The album has stellar liner notes from Daniel Schweiger doing a much better job than me detailing this score. So I recommend getting this limited 3,000 print release and digging into all it has to offer.