Essence of Revenge
Review by Richard Buxton
Despite what the most virtuous amongst us might claim, vengeance is deep-rooted into the human psyche. Revenge is a theme that courses through the veins of film and television worldwide, from OLDBOY and I SAW THE DEVIL, to STRAW DOGS and GLADIATOR, there’s nothing quite like witnessing the exacting of long-sought cinematic vengeance. ABC’s REVENGE doesn’t quite explore the same degree of ruthless retribution as these films, foregoing the relentless brutality and instead acting as perhaps a more relatable tale of payback, as protagonist Emily Thorne seeks to avenge the framing, imprisonment and eventual murder of her father. Her quest for vengeance is scored by Czech-born, English-raised composer IZLER whose previous credits include the series SHAMELESS, and chilling thriller ON THE ICE.
The majority of the REVENGE score circulates around the show’s creeping main theme that appears with great frequency throughout. Pilot director Phillip Noyce’s modest request of IZLER to compose “the mother of all theme melodies” hasn't quite been met, but the simplistic theme does enough to set the nerves on edge. It’s a theme that could potentially have been used more effectively if it were utilized as a sub-theme, with a motif expressing greater catharsis taking the role as the show’s primary theme. As it is, the main theme - first heard in “Mortal Vindication - Revenge Main Theme” (1) - sets the tone well enough, but doesn’t quite deliver on the intrigue and suspense that it creates...