November Man

Composed By: Marco Beltrami

Distributed by: Varese Sarabande Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                In the action thriller November Man, Pierce Brosnan is Peter Devereaux, a former CIA agent (with the code name The November Man) lured out of retirement on a personal mission.  But protecting Alice Fournier (Olga Kuylenko) has made Devereaux a target of former friend and CIA protégé David Mason (Luke Bracey).  With a possible mole in the agency and no one he can trust, Devereaux finds himself in a no holds bar battle to keep himself and his witness alive.

                The musical score of November Man was created by award winning composer Marco Beltrami.  Famous for his horror scores for the Scream franchise and Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, Beltrami has been creating musical scores for film since the early 1990s and has amassed quite a résumé, including the musical scores of such notable films as 3:10 to Yumaa, The Hurt Locker, The Giver, Trouble With the Curve, The Woman in Black, World War Z and more.

                The November Man score contains quite a few different elements.  There are the exotic elements that create a feel of varying and far off locales.  According to Beltrami, "I wanted to create a taut score incorporating a guitar theme with a slightly Eastern European meets Western motif befitting an action thriller about international espionage."  The guitar theme is somewhat reminiscent of the James Bond themes - fast paced electric guitar notes leading in to a brass theme, always brings 007 to mind and the theme of The November Man is definitely very close in resemblance to those old films.  As with any spy action thriller, there are those slower, quieter moments in the track, but even then, there is a tension alluded to by underlying currents in the music, often foretelling a moment of action about to take place.

                While I can appreciate what Beltrami was trying to do with the score, and would caution anyone not to drive while listening to the score as the music definitely brings on a "Need for Speed" in the listener, I don't feel that the score was original enough for me to spend hard earned money on.  I think, in trying to give the score that spy movie feel, Beltrami came too close to those old James Bond scores and lost a bit in the originality section.  However, the music is fast-paced and adrenaline rush inspiring and these are always pluses when creating a musical score for an action thriller, so it's not a total loss.  Just something I probably wouldn't buy if I passed it in a music store.


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