Total Time: (49:32)
After reading those negative reviews mentioned earlier, I was kind of expecting another Wing Commander, but once I listened to it, I wondered why so many people though that this was so mediocre. It's not. Not at all. I can understand what most people mean when they claim it to lack cohesion, as there is basically one action-packed cue after another throughout the disc, with little time for calmness. There are calmer tracks though, like the second one, even though they are few and far between. If there is one flaw that really irks me, it is the fact that Arnold uses only the main theme to support everything. While the theme does a good job doubling up on fast and slow music (like the theme from Stargate), it is not used too much here, but it is really the only good theme in the score. The rest is not thematic, but more like simple orchestration.
I personally would find it difficult not to like this. I know that Arnold fans have been looking forward to it for some time, and the wait was mostly worth it. I say mostly because it can be a little hard to get into if you're not a fan of Arnold's previous work. Therefore, I think that if you don't own any other Arnold score (though that seems unlikely if you are a film music fan), I would suggest getting another Arnold score first, and waiting to get this.
While it does lack the cohesion of previous efforts, this score still belongs on the shelves of Arnold fans. It's got plently of rip-roaring action with a little bit of soft stuff just to keep everyone happy. I haven't seen the film and I'm not sure I'm going to, but you really don't need to see it to appreciate this music.