The Mediaventures score factory is a fascinating Hollywood phenomena and indeed a unique one. It produces dozens of obviously effective, rather popular and commercially succesful scores every year, yet I have never really understood what's so great about them. In recent years, several of the composers have co-written many scores - Trevor Rabin and Mark Mancina worked on Con Air together, Harry Gregson-Williams and John Powell did Antz, for instance. And now, Harry Gregson-Williams and Trevor Rabin have formed a new team in the creation of the score for Tony Scott's latest action thriller, Enemy Of The State. I haven't had the opportunity to see the film yet, but I'm quite certain that the score may loses some of it's overall impact on the screen, due to overscoring. That is the most common problem with the Mediaventures scores and with a rock video director like Tony Scott having the overall responsibility I would be very surprised if the film doesn't have too much music for its own good.
That is, of course, only speculations, but what I can judge here is the quality of the soundtrack album and although it has several listenable parts and an attractive modern edge, it's a rather boring listening experience, in my opinion. It opens with a promising, hard-hitting "Main Titles" cue, written in the typical Zimmer-esque style: strong modern rhtyhmics, slick harmonic progressions and a undefinable mix of orchestral, sampled and electronic elements. However, after this it's pretty much a journey downwards. Two themes are introduced in the following cues. The main theme is a starkly emotional and adrenaline-pumping composition with a completely anonymous melody line, and "Brill's Theme" is even more weak with a complete abscense of a thematic hook.
Trevor Rabin and Harry Gregson-Williams are skillful in their way of utilising their themes in the score, but Enemy Of The State has a huge problem which it shares with so many other works in the same style: the themes aren't strong enough to carry the score and make it fly. Very few of the Mediaventures scores have themes that are strong enough, yet the scores are extremely thematic. Enemy Of The State is another example of this. The score has an immediate sonic freshness (which probably attracts the younger audience), but in a melodic sense it's based on very poor themes. Some of the action cues on the album, "Hotel Chase Part 2" and especially "Zavitz Chase Part 1", are enjoyable - intense and powerful music, but they are interchangeable with dozens of other action cues from the action department of the Mediaventures factory. Another current trend which Enemy Of The State dwells upon is the over-the-top/wall-to-wall approach. There is very little subtlety in the score - even the more atmospheric parts seem to be overloaded with rhythm and synthesized effects. If it wasn't for the exciting action sequences - the ones that avoids the themes and concentrates on underlining the percussive speed instead - I would give this score an even meaner judgement.