Bastille Day Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the film score Bastille Day by Alex Heffes.
At a glance:
Geek Score: 81.4
Total Minutes Of Excellence: 5.5
Album Excellence: 10.2%
Bastille Day is a 2016 British-French-American action film directed by James Watkins and starring Idris Elba, Richard Madden & Kelly Reilly. Michael Mason, a pick-pocket living in Paris steals a bag with a teddy bear in it. Not realizing the toy contains a timed bomb, he tosses it aside on a busy street. A few seconds later it explodes, killing four people. CCTV footage reveals Masons face and the French police tag him as a terrorist threat. The explosion, although botched, was set up by a select group of the French Interior Ministry as a decoy so they can make a half billion dollar digital transfer from a bank, (closed on French National Day) -hence the title Bastille Day. In a separate CIA investigation the unruly agent Sean Briar, discovers the real story behind Masons “terrorist attack”. The two men, on different sides of the law, collaborate to bring the corrupt members of the Ministry down. The score is composed by Alex Heffes.
The score opens with ‘Briar’ and I think it’s quite clear what we’re getting here. We’re getting a fast paced action score. mostly electronic. The standout thing here is probably the small guitar riffs, that’s interesting. As an opening title I don’t know what to think. It’s passable, but it’s nothing great. ‘Planting The Bomb’ has another interesting feature, and that’s the violin used to create a motif and also part of the whole rhythmic approach. It is tense and dare I say a little bit exciting too. It’s easy to connect with it, and easy to listen to. With action scores like these though, I don’t think I will ever love them unless they have something more, like a fantastic theme or two.
Themes are not why you listen to this score though. You are here for the moods and the action, both which I find satisfying. The action isn’t hectic and frantic, it’s rather restrained. It’s a slow action score, but I find it fascinating that I am enjoying it as much as I do. Heffes is showing signs of being someone who can deliver these “boring” investigative cues and still make them interesting and valid without the context. Not naming names, but Jerry Goldsmith is the prime example of this. Now that being said, it’s in no shape or form similar to what Jerry did in his heyday, but to me, I feel that am intrigued by Heffes’ score and that’s something. Heffes is good at varying the action and thriller material. Sometimes he puts in a seemingly random piano riff and then some effects, a shaky electronic violin. All these things goes to make the score more interesting than perhaps it appears. The action when it “explodes” once in a while is also very exciting like ‘Rooftop Chase’. I love a good chase cue and here Heffes turns up the heat. Yeah this is a very fine score, but not a terrific one. If you want a somewhat exciting thriller/action score, this might be a good bet.
5. Rooftop Chase