Musical Score By: Trevor Rabin
Distributed by: Sony Music
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
In the 2015 film, Max, a Belgian Malinois named Max finds himself injured and alone when his handler, U.S. Marine Kyle Wincott (Robbie Arnell) is killed during a mission in Afghanistan. Adopted by the Wincott family in America, Max only appears to be calm and happy when he is around Kyle's younger brother, Justin (Josh Wiggins). Unfortunately, Justin, a troubled teenager, wants little to do with him. Eventually, the two develop a bond that helps mend their broken hearts and offers up closure in the case of Kyle's untimely death.
The musical score of Max was created by South African musician, singer, songwriter, producer and composer Trevor Rabin. Well known as a guitarist for the English band Yes, Rabin got into film scoring in 1995, completing his first feature film score for The Glimmer Man in 1996. Since then, he has created or co-created musical scores for such notable films as Armageddon, Con Air, Gone in 60 Seconds, Remember the Titans, National Treasure, Gridiron Gang, Snakes on a Plane, I Am Number Four and more.
Max is a military trained dog who suffers great loss and experiences great happiness in the end. Thus, one would expect a score that starts off a bit dark, ends on a happier note and is infused with music reminiscent of the military. The Max Soundtrack starts off with Max's First Cache, a dramatic track with dark undertones, featuring a heroic style. This dog is somewhat of a hero and therefore is treated with horn fanfare and military style drum rolls. Strings and darker piano tones tell the sadness of loss in tracks like Max Rushes Coffin. In later tracks, like Let's Do This, there is a sense of danger brought about by ominous horns and lower registry strings. It isn't until the end that we see a lighter style to the score, offering up a sense of closure to the story and the hint of a happy ending.
While I'm not certain that this score is something I would want to buy as a stand alone album, I am impressed with the dramatic style of the composition and have no doubt that Trevor Rabin has created the perfect musical accompaniment to the scenes in Max. I've been wanting to see this film and listening to Rabin's score has only cemented my determination to do so - always a good sign of a job well-done in my opinion.