The Dark Tower

Musical Score By: Tom Holkenborg

Distributed by: Sony Classical

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                In The Dark Tower, a movie adaptation of the novel by Stephen King, Idris Elba is Roland Deschain, the last Gunslinger locked in an eternal battle with the Man in Black, Walter OíDim (Matthew McConaughey).  He is determined to keep the Man in Black from toppling the Dark Tower which holds the universe together.  As in most Stephen King tales, good and evil collide in an all-out battle, but the stakes are higher than in most of Kingís tales, for this battle is for the survival of the universe.

                The musical score of The Dark Tower was created by Dutch producer, musician, DJ and composer Tom Holkenborg.  Also known by the stage name Junkie XL, Holkenborg is a classically trained musician, leaning piano at four years of age, drums by eight, guitar by twelve and bass by fourteen.  From the late 80s through the early 90s, Holkerborg was involved in performing and producing music.  Starting in the mid-90s, Holkenborg became involved in composing for video games and film.  He has worked with a number of well-known composers, including Harry Gregson-Williams (Domino, Kingdom of Heaven), Klaus Badlet (Catwoman) and Hans Zimmer (Inception, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Megamind, Madagascar 3, Dark Knight Rises).

                The Dark Tower Soundtrack features a dark orchestral score.  The them of Roland of Eld is that of an action hero, featuring horns, percussion, crashing cymbals and a raise in crescendo.  The rest of the score is rather dark and ominous, though there are some quirky moments here and there.  And there are tracks heavy with the fast-paced, loud sound representing action.  Of course, this is to be expected with a good vs. evil storyline and yet, I felt there was something missing to this score.

                Iíve listened to The Dark Tower Soundtrack three times, trying to find a reason for my dislike of the soundtrack and realized that the problem wasnít a dislike of the music.  The whole problem was that the music wasnít all that memorable, with the exception of Rolandís theme.  The reality of this experience is that I had to listen to it three times just to remember what it sounded like, then go through some of the tracks again to see if I remembered it just right.  Unless you are a huge fan of the film, which box office receipts tend to make me doubt, I doubt that you will want to spend hard-earned money on this soundtrack.


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