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Top 10 Film Scores Which Were Tarnished by the Movie Itself


There are many aspects to film which are more important to some people than others. For me, the score is one of the most vital parts to a film. If a movie doesn’t have a score I enjoy, it is already on the back-step. This isn’t to say I don’t enjoy films that have scores I am not particularly fond of, it’s just that there is a greater chance of me enjoying the movie if it does. A great score is a work of art in itself, and I find it a great shame if someone doesn’t get to experience some of these brilliant creations due to the films themselves not being well received. When a movie gets average to bad reviews, you tend to find most people will give the film a miss, or put it nearer the bottom of their watchlist, and if they do go and see it, the lack of enjoyment of the movie can sometime taint the score itself. This is why I have come up with the top 10 film scores which have been tarnished by the film’s themselves, allowing these incredible scores to get the credit they deserve!

(Not in any ranking order.)

1. Need For Speed - Nathan Furst

Need for Speed was certainly not a film which was received well critically or generally. I was a fan of this film itself, but accepted the extreme amount of cheese within this picture and the aspects of god awful acting. The thing which managed to carry the enjoyment of this film for me was it’s brilliant score by Nathan Furst. The Need for Speed score has a brilliant melody which is carried throughout many of the tracks but tweaked in ways to fit the mood of the scene, which works perfectly. So even though some of the emotion was lost in the poor acting, Furst’s score managed to pick that up.

IMDb Audience Score: 6.5

Metascore: 39

Standout Track: Pete’s Death

2. Mission: Impossible II - Hans Zimmer

As many of our readers will be aware, we are huge fans of Hans Zimmer. Zimmer has a brilliant way of rescuing films from being complete disasters. Zimmer has a great talent of blending the modern ways of making music with classical methods, in turn, creating a signature sound. One film which has been heavily criticised for its extremely cheesy acting and over dramatised action is Mission: Impossible II. After the success of MI:I no one expected MI:II to go down the route it did, which was pretty much the exact opposite to its former film. With plenty being wrong with this picture, such as the slow-motion shot of two cars locking side-by-side and start to swirl off a cliff as both lead actors look dramatically in each others eyes, Zimmer’s score is certainly not one of those issue.

IMDb Audience Score: 6.1

Metascore: 59

Standout Track: Injection

3. Tron: Legacy - Daft Punk

It’s not often we get an album from Daft Punk. They are the Daniel Day Lewis of the music world, so when it was announced that they were doing the score for Tron: Legacy, like many, I was over the moon, and even though the score lived up to expectation, the movie did not. Many found it to be bland and lacked real depth. This could have been a level of the expectations being too high, but with The Grid having limitless possibilities, they definitely could have been more adventurous. Many people had serious gripes that Daft Punk’s score was snubbed at the Grammy’s and I cannot help but wonder if the film had been good, would they have won? I think so.

IMDb Audience Score: 6.8

Metascore: 49

Standout Track: Adagio for TRON

4. Transformers: The Last Knight - Steve Jablonsky

It seems when anyone wants to refer to a film that lacks quality, Transformers is mentioned, with this certainly being the case for Transformers: The Last Knight. This film is a bombastic mess with a over convoluted storyline. There is no doubting that this film is a disaster, but the even though, on the whole, there is no saving this film, Steve Jablonsky’s score is nothing short of a masterpiece. Honestly, Jablonsky has pulled out some incredible pieces of music for this franchise, but there is no doubt that his best work is found within this score. Every time I listen to it, I get goosebumps. Its heart-warming, heroic and captures everything good about Transformers.

IMDb Audience Score: 5.2

Metascore: 27

Standout Track: Sacrifice

5. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - Hans Zimmer

As mentioned above, Zimmer has a great skill at saving films and if it wasn't for his score in Amazing Spider-Man 2, I think, critically, it would have been a disaster. On the whole the audience had mix reviews on this film, with me falling into the positive side of this camp. That being said, Zimmer’s score is a huge part of this for me. Zimmer captures the heroic side of Spider-Man brilliantly but where he truly stood out in this film for me is capturing the romance between Peter and Gwen. Even though this film wasn’t the best, I felt the love between Peter and Gwen was great and only made better with Zimmer’s touching music.

IMDb Audience Score: 6.6

Metascore: 53

Standout Track: I Chose You

6. Thor: The Dark World - Brian Tyler

Marvel have produced a truck load of films now, with most of them being received extremely well, however, it hasn’t been a smooth ride the whole way, there has been some bumps on the journey, with Thor: The Dark World being one of those humps. Weirdly though, one of my gripes with the MCU is that they lack real standout scores, with them all being very similar, so it is strange for one of the not so well received films to have one of the best scores in the franchise. What Brian Tyler produced for this film is a true superhero score. Just listening to it makes you want to pop on a cape and go find someone to save, which is probably why Marvel used it as their fanfare for the whole of Phase 2 of the MCU.

IMDb Audience Score: 7.0

Metascore: 54

Standout Track: Thor: The Dark World

7. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword - Daniel Pemberton

I have mentioned many unpopular films in this article, but King Arthur: Legend of the Sword has to be the worst of the lot. I am a big Guy Ritchie fan, so I had no idea what happened to him when he made this film. Not only was the acting awful, but the visuals were a disaster, the lack of attention to detail with the period it is set in was alarming and cinematography was a mess. This really was not a film that Ritchie will want to remember, but for the composer, Daniel Pemberton, this is a score he won’t want to forget. Pemberton has created a score which is like nothing I have heard before. It is extremely experimental, adding things like heavy breathing to carry the rhythm on some of the tracks. It truly is something special. Pemberton is slowly getting to the point of being one of my favourite composers if he keeps up the form he is on.

IMDb Audience Score: 6.8

Metascore: 41

Standout Track: The Born King

8. Fast & Furious - Brian Tyler

Even though the Fast & Furious franchise is one of the biggest in cinema today, it certainly isn't without its faults. After the god awful Tokyo Drift, the Fast franchise went back to basics bringing back the original characters in Fast & Furious. Even though it was good to see the familiar faces back, it is nearer the bottom of the list when it comes to the quality throughout the franchise. However, it wasn’t all bad, it had introduced some running themes for the franchise which we can relate to today. Brian Tyler is great at creating these memorable hooks, which is what he manages to do for Fast & Furious.

IMDb Audience Score: 6.6

Metascore: 46

Standout Track: Letty

9. The Incredible Hulk - Craig Armstrong

As mentioned above for Thor: The Dark World, even though Marvel has had incredible success, it isn’t without its speed bumps, with The Incredible Hulk being the biggest bump of all. I am a huge fan of this film. It is one of my favourite films of the MCU, but I can confidently say I am of a small group of people when it comes to this opinion. There is, however, one thing I would like to think most people would agree with me on and that is the heart-wrenching score with Craig Armstrong created for this film. Armstrong really captures the tragic life Bruce leads and is massively deserving of being in this top 10.

IMDb Audience Score: 6.8

Metascore: 61

Standout Track: Bruce And Betty

10. Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

Like Marvel, Star Wars is a huge success and one of, if not, the biggest franchises in cinema history, but again, like Marvel it isn’t without its low points with Star Wars: The Phantom Menace being one of them. Even though TPM wasn’t received particularly well and let a lot of people down, John Williams did not let the team down and managed to extend on his almost near perfect score with some incredible addition. Not only did Williams bring back his infamous Star Wars score from the original trilogy, he managed to create some unforgettable tracks which has easily joined the incredible backlog of Star Wars themes. For Williams to be able to accomplish this only highlights that he truly is the best composer to ever live.

IMDb Audience Score: 6.5

Metascore: 51

Standout Track: Duel of the Fates

#StarWars #marvel #hanszimmer

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