Soundtrack Review: The Foreigner

Soundtrack Review: The Foreigner

The Foreigner Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the film score The Foreigner by Cliff Martinez.

At a glance:

Geek Score: 88
Total Minutes Of Excellence: 22.9
Album Excellence: 49.8%

How are the scores calculated and what does it mean?

The Foreigner is a 2017 British-Chinese action film directed by Martin Campbell and starring Katie Leung, Jackie Chan & Rufus Jones. Quan is a humble London businessman whose long-buried past erupts in a revenge-fueled vendetta when the only person left for him to love — his teenage daughter — dies in a senseless act of politically motivated terrorism. His relentless search to find the terrorists leads to a cat-and-mouse conflict with a British government official whose own past may hold the clues to the identities of the elusive killers. The score is composed by Cliff Martinez.

A revenge action drama score by Cliff Martinez is certainly interesting. Martinez is no stranger to action, although I wouldn’t say he’s an action composer. His style is usually very recognizable though for better or worse. With Martinez you usually know what you’re going to get. Is that the case with The Foreigner as well? Electronica? Check. Yes, it’s certainly a huge part of Martinez scoring and it is in The Foreigner, so no surprises there. The score opens with ‘Landscape Gardener’, an almost 3 minute teaser with a great retro sounding bass synth which is the main focus on the cue while an ambient mix of synth pads and a very high pitched synth plays on top. The high pitched synth almost sound like an electric guitar. It’s a great sound, in fact the whole cue is pretty damn exciting.

This score comes across as moody, but a little bit violent. The cues sometimes start in these very distinct holding patterns where the synths are allowed to build up. To me that’s exciting, as long as the music doesn’t fizzle out completely. Luckily Martinez keeps it tight for the most part, but only barely. Cues like ‘Spit It Out’ has a build up, but it has no climax like for example ‘Wired To Blow’ have. I do enjoy the tense energy in this score though. It’s never boring and Martinez pulsating electronic sounds keep me entertained until the very end. I can imagine that the action scenes in the movie will be very much enhanced by this kind of score. It just screams action and excitement even without the usual heavy percussion. Martinez’ percussion is subtle and light perhaps, but it’s such a great mix with the electronic music that it is really fun to listen to. Even though we know Martinez’ style, it’s a different kind of action music than you will hear anywhere else and this style really works. Now be warned, there are some really "out there" sequences with what sounds like a classic old goa trance sound and it might not be for everyone, but you should definitely check this one out.

1. Landscape Gardener
3. Wired To Blow
4. He Jumped Off The Roof
6. Daughter’s Room
7. Another Bombing
9. Your Mole Is Hugh McGraw
12. She Used You
15. Observe And Report

GD Star Rating
Soundtrack Review: The Foreigner, 5.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings


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