Music Used in Trailers
4 / 5 Stars
It was probably one of the more entertaining summer films of 2000 - and one of the earliest. While it didn't make as much money as, say, X-Men, U-571 was certainly one of the successes of the summer. Starring Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton and Harvey Keitel, the film was a fictional account of an American submarine stealing the Enigma code machine from a German U-boat in World War II. Directed by Jonathan Mostow (Breakdown), the score was composed by his good friend Richard Marvin. Marvin had worked primarily on television movies, as well as the 3 Ninjas series of films. What few people expected (except those who apparently knew better) was that Marvin would be able to deliver as powerful and exciting as score as that he delivered for U-571.
The album, which is a promotional one, is sequenced out of chronological order. This was a good move, since listening to the album in chronological order wouldn't be as satisfying or varied as the order it's in. Beginning with "End Credits #1", the main theme from the film is played with a full presence. It certainly has a strong theme, and while the orchestration and rhythm reminds me strongly of Goldsmith's score to Air Force One, the music is powerful and driving - and ultimately successful because of how it works in the film.
The score seems to be broken up into a few different types of cues. The hard action cues ("Sub Battle", "Destroyer Battle", "Tyler's Torpedo Plan") have an ever-present percussion section, and the tension is realized through the orchestra (as it should be). There are moments that border on cliché, however, but this isn't exactly the type of film that would be immune from that. It is, after all, a summer popcorn movie. The softer dramatic cues ("Material Office", "Lock And Load", "Quiet Theme (End Credits #2)) all contain an honorable brass motif, which is nothing but full of respect for the bravery and courage that the real men who helped capture the Enigma no doubt had.
There are plenty of composers whose styles seem to make appearances in the score. Goldsmith and Horner are the primary influences, but it was surprising to hear some strong Silvestri influences in "Taking The U-571". Again, this isn't a bad thing - in fact, it kept me guessing throughout the film who the composer was. I was (of course) pleasantly surprised that it was Marvin. This might not be the score that Marvin points to as an example of his own unique composing style. But this is certainly the one that will get him bigger recognition, and larger film scores.
The album is a promotional one, and can be purchased only from Super Collector. It runs just over one hefty hour, and it's worth every minute. I can't say I've heard any of Marvin's work until U-571, but if he tends to control the orchestra as well as he does in this film, I'll be rushing out and buying any and all soundtracks he has available.
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