Brian Tyler scoring The Fate of the Furious (2017)

The Fate of the Furious is, as of 2017, the most recent film in the Fast & Furious franchise to be scored by Brian Tyler (there’s no word as yet as to whether he will score Fast & Furious 9). The Fate of the Furious continued the franchise trend of pushing the boundaries of storytelling, and the music gladly rises to the occasion.

The video I was able to find relating to this soundtrack shows segments of various scoring sessions, with the video quickly moving through several themes. Unlike the video clip for Furious 7, which focused a little more on the electronic and percussion aspects, this clip only shows the orchestra at work under Tyler’s direction. That’s fine by me, as I love watching Brian Tyler make unconventional sounds with a regular orchestra.

I apologize for the video being so short, but even though the video is only a minute long, it’s obvious just how powerful Brian Tyler’s music is. And as I say every time I cover this composer, it is so much fun to watch Tyler conduct the orchestra, he is clearly into the music, and I really do feel that this comes across in the final score as well.

Let me know what you think about this glimpse of Brian Tyler scoring the soundtrack of The Fate of the Furious in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Brian Tyler talks Fast Five (2011)

Brian Tyler scoring Furious 7 (2015)

My Thoughts on: Fast Five (2011)

My Thoughts on: Furious 7 (2015)

My Thoughts on: The Fate of the Furious (2017)

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

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Brian Tyler scoring Furious 7 (2015)

You might not have realized this, but Brian Tyler has been heavily involved in the Fast & Furious franchise for quite some time. His current scoring credits for the franchise include: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift; Fast & Furious; Fast Five; Furious 7; and The Fate of the Furious.

Tyler’s impressive composition abilities bring a high-octane feeling to every score he’s worked on (or at least the three I’ve listened to, I haven’t seen the 3rd and 4th films yet), and Furious 7 is no exception. The behind-the-scenes video I found for Furious 7 shows snippets of scoring sessions for the film, as well as a glimpse into the mixing process. As you might expect for a film like Furious 7, filled with fast cars and windows into the world of the super-rich, the music is full of electronic tweaks, with remixes, reverbs, and a lot of percussion (provided by Tyler himself no less).

The music of the Fast & Furious films occupies an interesting space in my head. Given how loud these films are (with all the cars and chases), it’s not uncommon to forget this film has music at all. And here’s the genius of that: the music fits into the film so neatly that you don’t notice it. However, I guarantee that if someone made an edit of the film that took the music away, it wouldn’t take you long to notice the difference. That’s one of the things I love about Brian Tyler’s music, it just fits into the film, and that’s not an easy thing to do.

I would literally give an arm and a leg to hear Brian Tyler’s thoughts about how he went and put this score together, especially since it’s the last film to feature Paul Walker (six years later and his loss still hurts). However, until such time as I can find some more footage to share, I hope you enjoy this peek into the scoring of Furious 7.

Let me know what you think about Furious 7 (and it’s soundtrack) in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

My Thoughts on: Fast Five (2011)

Brian Tyler talks Fast Five (2011)

Brian Tyler scoring The Fate of the Furious (2017)

My Thoughts on: Furious 7 (2015)

My Thoughts on: The Fate of the Furious (2017)

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

My Thoughts on: Fast Five (2011)

Of the eight films that currently make up the main Fast & Furious franchise, Fast Five remains the only one that I’ve actually seen in theaters (they were offering a free screening for college students, even then I couldn’t turn down a free movie). Because of this, Fast Five sticks out in my mind even more than Furious 7 and Fate of the Furious, because this was my introduction to the franchise.

And what an introduction for me to have! Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe this was the first film in the franchise to feature an over-the-top heist. Despite never having seen any of the prior Fast & Furious films, the story gives just enough exposition that you’re mostly able to follow what’s happening and why. Most of the story is set in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and sees Dom and his crew plotting one last job to set them up for life, while at the same time evading DSS agent Luke Hobbs (his first appearance in the franchise) and crime lord Hernan Reyes, both wanting to get their hands on Dom and company (but for very different reasons).

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I rewatched Fast Five a few days ago and it’s just as good as I remember. Of course the highlight of the film is the climactic chase with the safe, but I also love watching the buildup to the heist itself. Just between you and me, my absolute favorite scene is that moment in the bathroom in the police station (you know the one I’m talking about). My second favorite scene is the moment where Hobbs tries to arrest Dom only to find out that he is seriously outnumbered on the streets of Rio when it comes to firepower. I also like the recurring gag (if that’s the right word), where Dom and Brian go out to race to get faster cars to prepare for the heist, and they never show the races, but they don’t really have to because as soon as you see the new car, there’s no doubt what happened.

Also, something that blew my mind during my rewatch: how did I miss that Gal Gadot is in this film?? I know this was made years before Wonder Woman, but still, I’m shocked I didn’t recognize her.

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If I have one quibble with this film, it’s that Reyes’ comeuppance isn’t nearly as satisfying as I feel it should be. Oh, to be sure, he gets what’s coming to him, but it’s just so…quick. If you blink you’ll miss it. I just wanted the villain to suffer a little longer, that’s all.

Fast Five introduced several elements that have defined the rest of the series to date: the over-the-top mission, the introduction of Luke Hobbs, the introduction of Elena, just to name a few. Most of what I love in the Fast & Furious films can be traced back to Fast Five, so it will always be somewhat special to me.

Let me know what you think about Fast Five in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

My Thoughts on: Furious 7 (2015)

My Thoughts on: The Fate of the Furious (2017)

My Thoughts on: Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)

Brian Tyler talks Fast Five (2011)

Film Reviews

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

Soundtrack Review: Men in Black: International (2019)

The soundtrack for Men in Black: International became available in June 2019. Composer Danny Elfman returned to work on the score, having also scored the first three Men in Black films as well. This time, Elfman co-composed the score with Chris Bacon. Unlike the earlier MIB films, MIB: International is set in Europe and follows Agent M (Tessa Thompson) as she worms her way into the MIB organization and sets off on a wild adventure with aliens and intrigue galore.

Regarding the soundtrack, Danny Elfman had this to say:

I have always loved scoring the Men in Black series.  It allows me to enter a weird quirky unique musical world that only exists in the MIB universe. Revisiting and updating is always a joy. And sharing this chapter with co-composer Chris Bacon was also a great experience.

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I have a mixed history with the original Men in Black trilogy. I watched the first two films when they were relatively new, but I don’t remember much about the music (understandable since I was going on 9 when the first MIB came out). I certainly didn’t know that Danny Elfman had been working on the franchise from the beginning, one of these days I’ll have to compare the score for MIB: International to the original trilogy to see how they compare. But I digress, let’s get on to the score itself.

One of the things that immediately jumped out at me about the score to MIB: International is how the music can seamlessly jump from traditional orchestral music to electronic music. It happens more times than I can count, and the effect is that it gives the music a ‘quirky’ sound that fits very well with the unique world all of the MIB films have created, a world where aliens are hiding in plain sight and most people never know it.

While most of the music fits the “action film” genre (fast-paced melodies, quick crescendos, and percussion when appropriate), I was surprised by how tender some of the cues sounded. A prime example is “Promotions” which appears towards the end of the soundtrack. The music in that theme is quite thoughtful (I’m guessing it comes as the story is winding down if the cue title is anything to go by), and almost wholly orchestral, which is completely different from how the soundtrack starts. The early tracks jump back and forth between orchestral and electronic music so frequently I half-expected it to continue for the entire soundtrack.

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And actually, I have a theory for why that might be (though I warn you that I’m working off my knowledge of the plot summary without having actually seen the film itself). Keeping in mind that the story starts with M literally breaking into the world of the Men in Black, I think the early quirkiness of the music alludes to M leaving her normal life (represented by the orchestral music) behind and jumping into the quirky, alien-filled world of MIB (represented by electronic music). That’s my thought anyway, it could be an oversimplification, but it makes sense.

I’ve heard that MIB: International disappointed quite a lot of people, but the soundtrack itself is quite lovely from what I’ve heard to it. I think it’s great that Danny Elfman returned to work on this would-be reboot, and if you get the chance, definitely check the soundtrack out, it’s worth it.

Let me know what you think about Men in Black: International (and its soundtrack) in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Film Soundtracks A-W

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My Thoughts on: The Transporter (2002)

I actually remember the commercials advertising The Transporter (many many moons ago, when I was just a wee middle school student). It stuck out to me because it listed the rules the Transporter goes by: 1) Never Change the Deal; 2) No Names, and 3) Never Open the Package.  I had no idea what the film was really about, but I remember being curious about a character who likes to follow their own set of rules (my own brain works in a similar way). Last night, 17 long years later, I finally got to see the film for myself (thanks Hulu!) and oh my goodness. I have been missing out haven’t I?

The Transporter, as the title implies, follows professional transporter Frank Martin (Jason Statham), who will deliver anything to anywhere, provided the aforementioned rules are followed. Inevitably, with a system like this, the rules are broken and Martin’s life is turned upside down when he becomes mixed up in some major criminal dealings.

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This film is a wild ride to say the very least. From the opening car chase (which is actually very funny, I loved watching how he treated those robbers), to the final chase, I loved every minute of it. There is one thing I noticed though: I’m not sure if this was because of the director, or because this was relatively early in Statham’s career, but this isn’t quite the Jason Statham I’m used to watching, if that makes sense. Oh the fight scenes are what I expected (and the oil fight is insane), but the way he talks and acts…it’s just different. I’m not saying it’s bad, it’s just different. Also, this is yet another film where Statham still has hair and it is so weird to see him with hair.

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And speaking of the fight scenes, they’re nuts but in a good way! I’ve yet to see a movie that does not involve Statham showing off his awesome fighting skills, and this film is no exception. The previously mentioned oil fight was crazy to watch, though I read afterward that they had to use molasses for that scene and it had to have been a pain and  a half to clean up afterward. (also, one last thought, I was genuinely upset when that house got blown up, that was a really nice house!)

I’m so glad I watched The Transporter at long last, Transporter 2 and 3 have now jumped to the top of my watch list, and I can’t wait to check out even more of Jason Statham’s filmography. Let me know what you think about The Transporter in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Film Reviews

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My Thoughts on: The Fate of the Furious (2017)

*minor spoilers for the movie below (putting the warning out just in case)

Just when I thought I couldn’t get more blown away by a Fast and Furious film, I put in The Fate of the Furious (the most recent main-line entry to date) and I get blown away all over again. Seriously, how on Earth are they going to top what they did in this film? We’re so far past the suspension of disbelief at this point that just about anything is possible. But I digress, let’s go back to the beginning.

The Fate of the Furious is interesting on so many levels. Not only does it take the adventures of Dom and company to insane new heights (and equally horrifying lows), it also reveals that everything that’s happened since Fast and Furious 6 has been part of one big plot, and the true villain Cipher (Charlize Theron) is only just now being revealed. I love these kinds of plot revelations because they cause you to go back and re-examine everything you thought you knew about a certain set of films. Character’s motivations aren’t what you thought they were, and everything changes (at least it did for me).

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As big as that reveal is, however, that’s nothing compared to Dom’s plot arc throughout the entire film. I remember watching a teaser for this film and freaking out when Dom turned on everyone (school issues prevented me from seeing this in theaters or I surely would’ve). Plot twists like this one are very dangerous, because if the wrong motivation is laid out in the film, then the entire arc can fall flat. Thankfully, when Dom’s motivation to turn is revealed, it makes absolutely perfect sense. After all, Dom’s love of family is well-known, and that’s probably the only thing I can think of that would motivate him to do what he did. And that’s also why Cipher’s days are surely numbered. She screwed with Dom’s family, and worse, an innocent, and the last time I checked anyone who does that winds up dead (or at least seriously maimed in the case of the Shaw brothers).

And speaking of the Shaws, I believe I misspoke in my post about Furious 7. Having seen The Fate of the Furious, I now realize that this is the film that really sets up the dynamic between Hobbs and Shaw that we see in the spin-off, or at least lays the groundwork for it (they don’t really interact enough in Furious 7, though their chemistry is noticeable even then). Also, it’s really awesome to see Deckard and Owen working together (no matter how briefly), I would gladly welcome a movie that pairs those two together again.

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Now then, back to my opening remarks: how CAN they possibly top what they did in this film? Seriously, they had to dodge a freaking submarine with their fancy cars, while driving on ice in the middle of Russia. It doesn’t get much crazier than that (it’s even crazier than the Abu Dhabi stunt, and that’s saying a lot!) I’m still in love with the crazy action sequences, but in all honestly, I think this movie hit the limit as to just how far they can push it (just watch the next movie prove me wrong).

Overall, The Fate of the Furious has me completely wound up for whatever’s to come in the next installment. You better believe I’ll be in line next summer when the time comes to see it. Let me know what you think about The Fate of the Furious in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

My Thoughts on: Fast Five (2011)

My Thoughts on: Furious 7 (2015)

My Thoughts on: Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)

Film Reviews

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Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

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My Thoughts on: Furious 7 (2015)

Believe it or not, Furious 7 is only the second film I’ve seen in the entire Fast & Furious series (Hobbs & Shaw, being a spin-off, technically doesn’t count). I didn’t pay the series any mind until my senior year of college, when I got to see Fast Five at a screening that was free for college students. I was nearly hooked into the series then, but the stress of finishing my degree distracted me enough that I forgot about the series all over again (Paul Walker’s tragic death in 2013 did not help). That’s how things stayed until just recently, when I watched Hobbs & Shaw, remembered that the duo had appeared (more or less) in several Fast & Furious films prior to the spin-off, and decided to find out what I was missing.

And that’s basically how i found myself watching Furious 7 for the first time ever last night. By rights, I should have watched Fast & Furious 6 first, since that’s where we meet Owen Shaw (and without him we never would’ve met Deckard Shaw). But…I was really impatient to get to Jason Statham’s involvement in the series, so I skipped ahead.

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To put it mildly, Furious 7 is an insane film, with stunts that make Fast Five look tame in comparison. I’m still trying to work out how a crew of street racers and thieves got involved in international espionage (that IS what this is, right?), but thankfully the story is so over the top that it just works. The plot largely revolves around Dom seeking revenge on Deckard Shaw for killing Han and nearly killing himself, Mia, Brian, and their young son Jack. Deckard, for his part, wants revenge on the crew for nearly killing his brother Owen. Jason Statham fits into the story perfectly, and I really believe that adding him in raises the story to a whole different level.

I also have to say, that while I love all of the stunts in this film, I do understand why people are saying the franchise is seriously pushing the limits of believability (and I haven’t even seen Fate of the Furious yet). Case in point, that entire sequence where the expensive supercar flies/drops/jumps between skyscrapers in Abu Dhabi. It looks really cool but at the exact same time there’s a voice in the back of my head saying “Yea, right, like that could totally ever happen.” Fortunately, I love crazy action scenes, so I don’t let it bother me too much.

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No review would be complete without addressing how the film bids farewell to Paul Walker. I remember when the news of his death came out, and at the time I legitimately thought that was the end of this film. After all, Brian is so important to the story, how could you possibly go on without him? Well, they found a way, and it’s one of the best character send-offs I’ve ever seen that doesn’t involve outright killing the character off. The digital effects are so good, if I hadn’t read some trivia that reveals where and how some of the footage was manipulated, I probably wouldn’t have known which scenes were and which scenes weren’t (except for the beach scene and the ending of course). And that ending…I can’t imagine a more fitting end than having Brian drive off into the sunset (in an all-white car no less).  I freely admit I was crying when the credits finally rolled.

Furious 7 is really fun to watch, and I may or may not be kicking myself for not seeing it in theaters. Let me know what you think about Furious 7 in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

My Thoughts on: Fast Five (2011)

My Thoughts on: The Fate of the Furious (2017)

My Thoughts on: Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)

Film Reviews

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

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