Gangster Squad Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the film score Gangster Squad by Steve Jablonsky.
“This wasn’t the right score for Steve Jablonsky that much is clear.”
Gangster Squad is an action film directed by Ruben Fleischer and starring Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. Los Angeles, 1949: A secret crew of police officers led by two determined sergeants work together in an effort to take down the ruthless mob king Mickey Cohen who runs the city. The score is composed by Steve Jablonsky.
|1. His Name Is Mickey Cohen||60|
|2. Welcome to Los Angeles||60|
|3. He Can’t Have You||80|
|4. War for the Soul of LA||60|
|5. There Goes Our Ride||80|
|6. You Can’t Shoot Me||80|
|7. Always Knew I’d Die in Burbank||80|
|8. You’re Talking to God||80|
|9. The Bug||60|
|10. Hot Potato With a Grenade||80|
|11. You Know the Drill||60|
|12. I Was Just Hopin’ to Take You to Bed||60|
|13. Kill ‘Em All||60|
|16. Connie Lives||60|
|17. Let’s Finish It||80|
|18. Union Station||60|
|19. Light ‘Em Up||100|
|20. The City of Angels||100|
|21. Gangster Squad||80|
Choosing Steve Jablonsky for this project by director Ruben Fleischer was an interesting choice. This is an action film set in the 1949, but it is an action first and foremost. As it is Jablonsky, don’t expect to be dazzled with the roaring sound of the era and neither did i. In my opinion, Jablonsky isn’t the best choice for this kind of film. He excels at sci-fi, preferable with big robots, but this film is very far from that.
Recently we have heard new sides of Tyler Bates for example so change is certainly possible, but Jablonsky doesn’t try to change much. It is apparent that he is caught in thriller territory with the opening cues ‘His Name is Mickey Cohen’ and ‘Welcome to Los Angeles’. Pretty standard tense building cues. Rather meh… There are some soft cues, romantic cues like ‘He Can’t Have You’ which is a minimalistic piano cue which is rather good.
‘Light ‘Em Up’ is a cue Steve Jablonsky was made to write and it’s companion ‘The City Of Angels’. Massive action cues, both with horns, one with an interesting buildup. You guessed it, it’s Zimmer-ism, but he’s damn good at it.
This wasn’t the right score for Steve Jablonsky that much is clear, but if you don’t listen to it you might lose out on some good action cues particularly the over 7 minutes long ‘Light ‘Em Up’ which is Jablonsky at his best. Still, even with some good action, this score doesn’t particularly impress me.
GEEK SCORE: 73.3 (SGI: 827*)
*SGI is the current placement in the overall Soundtrack Geek Index (Lower number is better…)