Composer Steve Jablonsky has I suppose had quite a rapid rise into the public gaze, his soundtracks for films such as TRANSFORMERS,BATTLESHIP and GANGSTER SQUAD were all well received by critics and collectors alike, the composer has a knack of combining both symphonic with synthetic and fuses these mediums of musicality together with what seems to be consummate ease. The results achieved are not only effective within the context of the movies they are intended to enhance but also work away from the images to create exciting, exhilarating and entertaining results. Jablonsky has also worked on a number of re-makes of classic movies such as THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE and THE AMITYVILLE HORROR, plus he became a familiar name on the TV credits of DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES. The composer also created what I think is an original and haunting score for YOUR HIGHNESS and has been involved with numerous box office success such as the aforementioned TRANSFORMERS movies and GANGSTER SQUAD, as I write this review he has been named as composer on the up and coming TRANSFORMERS-AGE OF EXTINCTION which is due for release in 2014. So all in all Jablonsky has already had a varied and winning career in film music. His scores contain anthem like musical passages and also have great presence and power, in many ways his style is somewhat similar to that of Hans Zimmer, it has a foundation that is symphonic but utilizes to their full potential and effect electronics, which bolster the conventional instrumentation and also support and enhance his symphonic writings. His latest offering is for the Harrison Ford sci fi movie ENDERS GAME, which is a movie set in the not too distant future, where we find an Alien race called the FORMICS have attacked earth, this attack has been subdued and repelled thanks to the actions of Commander Mazer Rackham(Ben Kingsley) the Aliens however don’t give up that easy, so it is up to Colonel Hyrum Graff (Harrison Ford) and the international military to locate, recruit and train only the best young minds to find a future Mazer. Enter then, Ender Wiggin, who is recruited into the ranks of the elite, he soon masters what he has to do at battle school and is elevated into Command school where he is trained by Mazer Rackham to lead earths soldiers into a great battle that is the definitive fight to preserve human life on earth.
The composer has created a brooding and intense sounding score for the movie, which has some ultra high octane pieces and thunderous sounding passages within its running time. The score however has a central or core musical theme that is performed in the main by a solo cello, this mournful but beautiful sounding instrument, becomes the composers base, and it is around this particularly haunting performance that he fashions his dark and richly attractive sounding work, the solo cello performances which are returned to at certain points within the score are at times welcome respites from the more action led cues, but even though this is more or less a full scale action soundtrack the composer still manages to infuse or inject melody into the proceedings. Or maybe melody is the wrong way to describe it, it is stirring at times and has large scale driving themes which seem to rise from out of nowhere to establish themselves, the composer makes excellent use of percussive rhythms which introduce choir and underline and punctuate strings as they are further supported by foreboding brass flourishes. Jablonsky is I think a master at creating tension and also writing music that builds marvellously to give the action on screen even more dimension and in this case an atmosphere that is quite majestic sounding. There are also a few quieter moments within the score, Jablonsky utilizing plaintive sounding solo piano, which is delicately introduced as a introduction to a low key solo cello that creates a highly emotive interlude, which is further enhanced by strings and choir. I recommend this score highly, and also recommend that you check out the composers other works for the cinema.