Total Time: (61:31)
Basically, if you've heard most previous Zimmer action scores, you're going to hear nothing new at all. Not that it is necessarily a bad thing that Hans writes it, he actually does it quite well, but the constant synth pulses in the background and acoustic guitar clash horribly with the film's Roman setting. Gerrard's new-age vocals, which sound pretty good apart from the film, clash even more, and the problem stems from this: This is good music, but it's the *wrong* music, and contrary to what some people have said or have thought, it just doesn't sound Roman.
The movie itself was actually kind of a dissapointment for me. My uncle and one of my friends spoke very highly of it so maybe I was expecting too much, but it didn't really grab me like some similar movies do (Braveheart, anyone? "hold... HOLD... HOLD...!"), and I did enjoy it to a certain extent, mainly because of the excellent acting. The best parts of the score are those that dramatize unfolding events for the characters, especially cues like "Am I not Merciful?" which greatly heighten the tension. I don't really dislike any of the music, as with just about any orchestral score, this has its highlights. My favorite part of the entire soundtrack is probably the last minute of "Barbarian Horde." It's simply a nice, loud action section that contains little to no inclusion of strong synth influence. "The Battle" at the beginning sounds quite good as well, especially since it's a waltz, which is unusual for a battle scene, but somehow seems to work well (too bad the same can't be said for the rest of the action sequences).
I don't believe that this is a horrible score, but I certainly think that it has been severly overrated, and basically falls into mediocrity. Gladiator may sound halfway decent on disc, but hard-core score fans had best avoid it as it simply seems to lack any strong maturity. People who are already fans had best revisit golden age soundtracks like Ben Hur and Spartacus and realize just how much more Gladiator *could* have been.