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Random Tropical Paradise by Bryce Jacobs (Review)

posted Jul 21, 2017, 11:57 AM by Kaya Savas

Random Tropical Paradise is a small indie comedy starring Bryan Greenberg and Brooks Wheelan. Some people might remember Wheelan from SNL, but probably the only recognizable name in the cast will be Joe Pantoliano. The movie is about a guy and his best man still going on his honeymoon vacation after he catches his bride cheating on him at his wedding. They get mixed up with some drug lord and yada yada yada, we’ve seen The Hangover. The score comes to us from Bryce Jacobs. Bryce has worked on lots of big scores as a musician, score advisor and additional composer during his time at Remote Control Productions. He composed additional music for Ramin Djawadi on scores like Red Dawn and Medal Of Honor. He’s also been a musician on many others such as Rush, Man Of Steel, and Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Bryce is building a nice resume of solo compositions of scores as well, and we can add Random Tropical Paradise to that resume that shows glimpses of his talent but is hidden under a rather crappy movie.

Random Tropical Paradise thankfully is a pleasure to listen to and holds a pretty decent narrative structure despite the mess that is the movie it accompanies. Bryce is able to use some cool instruments and textures once the protagonists get to the tropics. The score becomes this cool textured comedic adventure using guitars and steel drums. But beyond the cool sounds and barely put together narrative structure, there’s not much else going on here. It almost feels like a score that was meant to replicate all the songs they originally wanted in the film but couldn't afford, there’s a bit of split personality going on in the first act before a rhythm is found for sure. In the end this is a valiant effort of trying to do something cool for a toss away movie. But since the movie is so poorly made, the score can only do so much narratively.

Random Tropical Paradise is going to be one of those “you gotta start somewhere” scores for Bryce Jacobs. He’s a super talented musician and composer who got stuck on a shitty film. Surprisingly he was still able to do some cool things especially with guitars and steel drums, but in the end, the poor narrative structure and pacing bog the score down. It’s a reality that a composer can only do so much with the canvas that they are given to paint on, and Random Tropical Paradise is not a great canvas. Definitely check the soundtrack out to hear a great fresh talent working out some cool things, but don’t expect much beyond that.