Monday, January 23, 2012

Sundance 2012: The Raid by Mike Shinoda & Joseph Trapanese (In-Film Score Review)

Sundance 2012:  The Raid by Mike Shinoda & Joseph Trapanese (In-Film Score Review)

Directed by Gareth Evans
Music by Mike Shinoda & Joseph Trapanese
Review by: Bradley Winston

One of the most anticipated films at Sundance, The Raid, is a flurry of flying fists, feet and sweat all to the rhythmic score provided by Mike Shinoda and Joseph Trapanese. Praised as “relentlessly exciting*” and “an action masterpiece**,” the film has left audiences out of breath and clutching their still-beating hearts thanks to the non-stop adrenaline rush that director Gareth Evans provides.

As a rookie member of an elite special-forces team, Rama (Iko Uwais) is instructed to hang back during a covert mission involving the extraction of a brutal crime lord from a rundown fifteen-story apartment block. But when a spotter blows their cover, boss Tama (Ray Sahetaphy) offers lifelong sanctuary to every killer, rapist and thief in the building in exchange for their heads. Now Rama must stand in for the team’s fallen leader Jaka (Joe Taslim) and use every bit of his fighting strength – winding through every floor and room to complete the mission and escape with his life.

The score is relentless as the action. Paired with the action, the music takes you on a thrill ride that you never want to end. Primarily an electronic score of drum machine beats and unique sounds, the music could easily be trapped in a techno pit like the Chemical Brother’s score to Hanna, but the heart-warming strings and soft piano touches in the human-element moments of the film draw you back to reality to realize you care about these human-punching bags and want the lead actor, Iko Uwais (“Rama”), to defeat his enemies and get home.

The main theme introduced early on in the film, continually teases the audience with a feeling of unfinished melody as the characters fight their way up a 15-story building. We don’t actually hear the entire theme played out until the final credits when the score blends into an original song produced by Shinoda sparks to life and eases us back to reality. The cord tension pulls at your subconscious so much that when you finally hear the full melody and the action is finally over you can actually relax and let the experience of the ride wash over you.

The Raid marks Mike Shinoda’s first score as a film composer. His career is primarily known as being a member of Linkin Park and contributing many influential songs to movie soundtracks over the years. Joseph Trapanese collaborated with Daft Punk on the riveting score to TRON: Legacy and recently contributed to five tracks on M83’s latest double-album release, “Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming,” as well as scoring projects like The Bannen Way and the upcoming animated series TRON: Uprising.

The Raid will release in theaters on March 23rd nationwide. There are no plans to release a score soundtrack at this time.

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