Musical Score By: Geoff Zanelli and Robert Williamson

Music By: Various Artists

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            Gamer stars Michael C. Hall as a reclusive billionaire named Ken Castle who has created a controversial form of entertainment via the use of mind-control technology.  Using self-replicating nanites, one is able to control the brain of another human being.  Castle has used this technology to create a multi-player game called Slayers an online first person shooter game using real humans as players controlled remotely by other humans.  Gerard Butler is Kable, the hero of the game controlled by a young gamer named Simon.  Each week, Kable has been defying all odds by winning, but this man - taken from his family, imprisoned and forced to fight against his will - has become intent on one thing, escape.

            The soundtrack of Gamer features songs by various artists and music composed by the team of Geoff Zanelli and Robert Williamson.  Alone, the two composers have created compositions which showed off their musical talents as well as their versatility as composers.  Zanelli has composed scores for such films as Into the West, Disturbia, Hitman, Outlander and more.  Meanwhile, Williamson has created musical scores for Dandelion (a film he also created the script for), The Youth in US, contributed songs to Underworld Evolution and Crank and co-composed musical score for such films as Pathology and The Midnight Meat Train.  Together, they combine their scoring talents to create a superior movie soundtrack that not only perfectly represents the film, but can be used as the soundtrack of an actual video game.

            Being a film about gaming, one would expect some high action music and the Gamer Soundtrack does not disappoint.  The musical score would fit just as well as background music for an actual video game and therefore is perfect for this film.  Some tracks are simply full-on mixes of rock and dance music, elevating the adrenaline and denoting that some heavy hitting action is taking place.  Other tracks are somewhat slower and give off the impression that something is about to take place.  These tracks in particular are reminiscent of those intense moments in a video game when nothing is really happening, but any second now, something is about to leap out at you from behind a corner.  I loved the insertion of noises that are in actual video games, adding to the authenticity of the visuals on screen.

            There are three songs featured on the Gamer Soundtrack.  The first is a creepy rendition of the Eurythmics song Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), performed by Marilyn Manson.  There are very few lyrics in this song, but if you listen intently to them, you will discover that they perfectly describe the theme of this film.  The Bad Touch by Bloodhound Gang is a rather explicit song about sex and violence.  I have heard this song before, but never in its full version and I couldn‘t help but laugh at some of the lyrics.  Finally, at the end of the soundtrack, we are given a medley of songs performed by Sammy Davis, Jr.  Not having seen the film, I can only guess at the relevance of the three songs featured in the medley: I’ve Got You Under My Skin, Big Bad John and Night and Day .  And although I can see the tongue-in-cheek humor these songs provide, I question placing them at the end of the soundtrack.  Having these songs at the end is like a huge letdown after all of that exciting musical score.

            All-in-all, the Gamer Soundtrack is an incredibly enjoyable, adrenaline pumping album in addition to being a perfectly apt musical score.  The only letdown is the medley and, happily, that is the only track you will have any desire to skip.


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