Soundtrack Review: The Great Wall

Soundtrack Review: The Great Wall

The Great Wall Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the film score The Great Wall by Ramin Djawadi.

At a glance:

Geek Score: 92.2
Total Minutes Of Excellence: 42.9
Album Excellence: 69.2%

How are the scores calculated and what does it mean?

The Great Wall is a a 2016 Chinese-American fantasy film directed by Yimou Zhang and starring Matt Damon, Pedro Pascal & Willem Dafoe. Starring global superstar Matt Damon and directed by one of the most breathtaking visual stylists of our time, Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers), Legendary’s The Great Wall tells the story of an elite force making a valiant stand for humanity on the world’s most iconic structure. The first English-language production for Yimou is the largest film ever shot entirely in China. The score is composed by Ramin Djwadi.

Monsters and a giant wall sounds good to me. There has been a lot of controversy around this film, but not for filmatic reasons. It’s doing good in China as expected and hopefully will do a good US and European tour as well. Djawadi and fantasy is usually a good match so I’m hoping it will more than exceed my expectations. The score opens with ‘Nameless Order’, and once you hear the opening chant you get the feeling of epic. There’s a Chinese flair to it as well which is really nice. It doesn’t explode, but it’s nice and subtle, very serene and calming despite it’s percussion track which gets the pulse going a bit. ‘Prologue’ follows suite with a nice horn motif, I sense danger and prophecies coming together.

I feel Djawadi is holding back in the beginning, but I do enjoy a good buildup so that might be the case here. Still, the music is very enjoyable and rhythmic. The more I listen to it, I have a feeling I’ve heard it before and that can be a good thing sometimes. It reminds me a bit of Jablonsky’s Transformers in many ways. I feel the structure is similar and while this has a more Chinese flair in many cues, the music with the percussion and sometimes themes work similarly as the Transformers score. To be fair though, the themes came through more clearly in Transformers than here, but this is a fun guilty pleasure score, a popcorn score if you will. In 2007 I ate this stuff up and one would think that I would outgrow it at some point, but almost 10 years later, I still enjoy this style of music. It’s exciting, and it’s not far from being trailer music which is a genre in itself, and one that I enjoy occasionally. This score might not be for everyone, but for those who like that medium heavy RC sound, you should be able to enjoy it.

1. Nameless Order
2. Prologue
3. What A Wall
4. The Great Wall
5. First Battle
9. Funeral Song
10. Foggy Loyalty
11. Fog and Fire
16. Tower Tactics
17. Powder Rangers
18. Xin Ren

GD Star Rating
Soundtrack Review: The Great Wall, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating


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