Album: The Last Samurai: Original Motion Picture Score

Cover image
Album:

The Last Samurai: Original Motion Picture Score

Artist: Hans Zimmer
Honors:
Genres:
Label: Elektra / Wea

Whether Tom Cruise’s portrayal of a 19th century American soldier cum samurai warrior will be remembered with the same pangs of pop-cultural bemusement that befell John Wayne playing Genghis Khan remains to be seen. But its musical soundtrack does mark an auspicious occasion: pop musician-turned-composer Hans Zimmer’s 100th score since beginning his film career in 1988. A pioneer of fusing both the electronic and orchestral and the Westernized with the indigenous, Zimmer does both here with skill, drawing heavily on samples of the traditional Taiko (a…

Reviews

Amazon.com

Whether Tom Cruise’s portrayal of a 19th century American soldier cum samurai warrior will be remembered with the same pangs of pop-cultural bemusement that befell John Wayne playing Genghis Khan remains to be seen. But its musical soundtrack does mark an auspicious occasion: pop musician-turned-composer Hans Zimmer’s 100th score since beginning his film career in 1988. A pioneer of fusing both the electronic and orchestral and the Westernized with the indigenous, Zimmer does both here with skill, drawing heavily on samples of the traditional Taiko (a massive Japanese drum) for its rhythmic action sequences, while constructing a melodic Western motif for Cruise’s character that’s both centerpiece and counterpoint for the score’s transcultural intent. Aside from the brief, ominous thunder of the expected action/suspense boilerplate, Zimmer has constructed passages of gentle, Asian-inflected pastoralism that have parallels with much of his evocative work on The Thin Red Line. Those cues are the score’s very soul, a canvas against which his more traditional themes reverberate all the stronger. —Jerry McCulley

Related Works

Film:The Last Samurai

The Last Samurai

Edward Zwick

Set in Japan during the 1870s, The Last Samurai tells the story of Capt. Nathan Algren (Tom Cruise), a respected American military officer hired by the Emperor of Japan to train the country’s first army in the art of modern warfare. As the Emperor attempts to eradicate the ancient Imperial Samurai warriors in preparation for more Westernized and trade-friendly government policies, Algren finds himself unexpectedly impressed and influenced by his encounters with the Samurai, which places him at the center of a struggle between two eras and two worlds, with only his own sense of honor to guide him.

Views: 462 • Modified: • Elapsed: 0.017 sec