Musical Score By: Mark Isham

Featuring an Original Song by The National

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            In the new dramatic film, Warrior, Tom Hardy stars as Tommy Colon, a Marine who returns home for the first time in fourteen years to ask for his father’s (Nick Nolte) help in training for the largest mixed martial arts competition in history.  Unfortunately, his brother, Brendan (Joel Edgerton),  is also entered in the competition.  The former fighter turned teacher has decided to return to the ring in a last ditch effort to save his family.  When the brothers paths begin to converge in the competition, they are forced to face each other and confront the demons that kept them apart all these years.

            The musical score of Warrior was composed by the New York-born composer Mark Isham. An accomplished musician and recording artist, beginning with the trumpet and moving on to experimentation with electronic music, Isham began composing music for film in 1983 with the musical score of Never Cry Wolf.  Since then, Isham has composed musical scores for such notable films as Crash, A River Runs Through It, Save the Last Dance, Don’t Say A Word, Kiss the Girls and more.

            The musical score begins with an impressively dramatic flare.  The first track, entitled Listen to the Beethoven features a stirring excerpt of Ode to Joy from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.  I enjoy Beethoven and was happily surprised to hear it on this soundtrack.  The uplifting quality of this music and its dramatic classical orchestral sound lends a sense that this movie may be of those dramatically uplifting stories that inspires its viewers. 

            We have the sense of action taking place in tracks like Sparta - Night One which contains heavy percussion, guitars and other electronic music.  Tension and drama taking place between the main characters is represented by orchestral music played in low registries as is evident in tracks like Paddy & Tommy and I Can‘t Watch You Fight

            The final track of the album is About Today, a song performed by the Cincinnati indie rock band The NationalAbout Today is a sad song about losing someone you love due to the distance created in a relationship caused by lack of communication: “Today you were far away / And I didn't ask you why  /What could I say / I was far away / You just walked away / And I just watched you / What could I say”.  The song perfectly represents the characters and the strain of their relationships caused by the painful demons they harbor but try to avoid discussing.

            The Warrior Soundtrack represents the movie and its theme well.  As a stand alone album, the music is attention grabbing and quite enjoyable.  The song by The National represents the theme of the film and the characters well and may be enough to get the listener to drag out some Kleenex.  All-in-all, Warrior is a soundtrack well worth the listen.


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