A surprisingly intricate and detailed score with sufficient passages of romance and drama
Michael Quinn 2009
Michael Giacchino's third blockbuster score of the summer exchanges space opera (Star Trek) and animated fantasy (Up) for the age of dinosaurs in the Will Ferrell vehicle Land of the Lost.
Suitably enough for a comedy that unabashedly plunders Saturday morning adventure serials and Hollywood's recent love affair with the Jurassic age – has-been scientist Ferrell, smart and pretty assistant Anna Friel and redneck survivalist Danny McBride are spat back through time after falling into a space-time vortex (as you do) to a lost land populated by giant creatures and primitive people – Giacchino's score seems equally ready to make use of what has gone before. And copiously so.
Across the 32 cues on offer here you'll find a score saturated with allusions and references that border on pastiche and tumble over into affectionate parody with a relentlessly noisy, almost inexhaustible determination.
Gleefully clattering around with all the mayhem and mess of an orchestra in a spinning concrete mixer, Giacchino highlights specific accents with a broad, wilfully eclectic instrumental palette: conch shells, the humble banjo, playful Music Hall woodwinds, the otherworldly Theremin beloved of 1950s science fiction, and twanging electric guitar all make their distinctive marks with massed voices adding to the emotional temperature.
In between there's plenty of belting sit-up-and-pay-attention moments courtesy of braying brass, dramatic percussion and tension-inducing strings. Don’t be put off by the dizziness-inducing surface energy at first listen or by the fact that, even after repeated encounters, the whole doesn't ever quite seem to hold together. Despite the Tourette’s-like unpredictability of the music, Giacchino has fashioned a surprisingly intricate and detailed score with sufficient passages of romance and drama to catch the imagination and enough moments of orchestral repose to catch your breath.