Review: Turbulence 2: Fear of Flying
3.5 / 5 Stars
Turbulence was not really much of a theatrical success - yet Trimark Pictures thought it must have been successful enough to warrant creating a "sequel" (nothing to do with the original film), Turbulence 2: Fear of Flying. Hired to score the film was Don Davis, whose groundbreaking score to The Matrix seems to have scared off the work instead of unleashed it. Nonetheless, Davis has been scoring each new project with the same freshness and energy that one would expect of (let's be honest) better projects.
The "Main Title" begins right from the start with a pulse pounding rhythm that introduces the brass fanfare of the main theme. Some of the cues have the expected dramatic underscore, such as "Martin & Son", which utilizes a piano softly echoing the main theme, as well as an oboe. "Brewster Dash" slowly builds the tension but never realizes a climax. The first main action cue is "Passengers Passed Out" that contains quite a bit of tense string work and the main theme pops up plenty of times.
"Czech Control" starts off with a tense piano bass line that repeats over and over as the horns and strings slowly build the tension into what can only be described as a dramatic action cue that doesn't quite seem to satisfy the need for full-on hardcore action music. That satisfaction is nearly achieved, however, when The Matrix is invoked at 1:25 in "Cockpit Fight & Phones", when the arpeggios and horns pop in for just a second. It's something familiar enough to deemed "Don Davis' style", and original enough to provide the right bit of excitement and stimulus that the cue was building towards.
Almost every theme and motif heard in the score is recapped in the nearly 9-minute long cue, "Tarmac Showdown". It's a great showpiece for Davis' dramatic and action scoring abilities, and he keeps the tension high. The last cue on the album, "Turbulence 2 Roll" (no doubt the end titles crawl) is a nice recap of the main theme, as well as the more romantic softer theme. While this isn't the best score Davis has done, it's a rather solid piece of work that no doubt worked for the film, since they certainly got better than they deserved.
The most interesting thing about this album is a technical one. It is completely synthesized, and performed by Davis himself. He must have a killer setup at his studio, since the samples used are high quality, and only on some of the high strings and brass do you notice anything funny. Other than that, this is quite an achievement and it's no wonder that the musicians are getting nervous! With a running time of about 72-minutes and released by Pacific Time Entertainment the score to Turbulence 2: Fear of Flying is worth a listen, even if the film might not be.
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