Good Kill Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the film score Good Kill by Christophe Beck.
At a glance:
40 minutes of score
Geek Score: 81.1
Total Minutes Of Excellence: 8.8
Album Excellence: 22%
Buy or stream? Stream
Good Kill is a 2014 American thriller film directed by Andrew Niccol and starring Ethan Hawke, January Jones and Bruce Greenwood. It follows Major Thomas Egan played by Ethan Hawke who becomes a U.S. Air Force drone pilot. The drones he is controlling used to kill. He remotely bombs several terrorist cells in the Middle East while sitting in a comfortable room with air conditioning (as he explains it). This of course takes a heavy toll on our main character. Moral questions aplenty. Does killing these “terrorists” help the world get rid of them or do they create more terrorists? And what about the innocent people that get caught in the crossfire? I can’t even imagine. The score is composed by Christophe Beck.
‘Missiles Away’ opens the score, a mysterious and intriguing opening with fluttering string sounds and subtle but effective percussion. At 51 seconds in, the music gets a Middle Eastern flair with a string instrument. There’s nothing that stands out, but the music is interesting. ‘So Beautifully Clear’ is different, an ethereal minimalistic beautiful and soft piece of music, my kind of music. I love the little buildup near the end as well. It’s getting clear that the mood of the score is dark and I would say quite non-obtrusive. This is a thinking man’s score, a gentle but smart way to deal with important questions that arise in the movie. The musical landscape might sound simplistic, but it’s deep and interesting. ‘Double-Tap’ use a variety if effect like fluttering string effects, electronic percussion and Middle Eastern string to make a statement. It’s kind of eerie. I don’t know what “double-tap” means, but I’m thinking of double click and the mouse and boom, the target is dust. 99% sure that’s not it though because that would make a lot of sense unless it’s done that way for security measures so you don’t accidentally hit something.
The lyrical side of Good Kill is rarely shown, but I already mentions ‘So Beautifully Clear’ which is one of very few examples. ‘Overwatch’ is another where the first part of the cue is very beautiful indeed and the second part is mixing it up a bit with a bit of faster paced electronica, but still beautiful. Also, a special mention to ‘Tommy’s Job’ which stands out because of the very present flute. The motif itself isn’t the best, but it’s memorable just because of the flute which hasn’t been used in this way before on the score. ‘Demoted’ is another cue that contains a beautiful theme, well worth listening to. The end title ‘Five Miles Away’ give the main theme a last hurrah and it’s never been quite as catchy as this before. Maybe I missed something during my first listens to this score.
So The Good parts or should I say great parts for me is the main theme and all it’s variation. That’s the key element to this score, the theme that binds it all together. The rest of the score is interesting and good for the most part, but I’m definitely missing a big piece of the puzzle since I haven’t seen the film. I’m guessing they make more sense in context. Overall a good score by Beck.
2. So Beautifully Clear
17. Five Miles Away