The Muskeeter (Soundtrack) by David Arnold



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The Muskeeter (Soundtrack) by David Arnold

One for Arnold
Review by Christopher Coleman


The Muskeeter (Soundtrack) by David Arnold

The Musketeer

The Muskeeter (Soundtrack) by David Arnold





Originality 7
Music Selection 7
Composition 7
CD Length 8
Track Order 7
Performance 8
Final Score 7/10



Composer David Arnold
David Arnold


Quick Quotes

"While maintaining the sophisticated complexity of Arnold's other large orchestral works, including some nearly impossible performances by the brass section, his music for The Musketeer lacks that elegant and refreshing edge that made his previous, similar scores so popular." ***

Christian Clemmensen - Filmtracks Reviews The Musketeer



Composed and Produced by David Arnold
Orchestrated and Conducted by Nicholas Dodd
Released by Decca Records September, 2001

Seeing well over a dozen separate feature film and television renditions, one of the most frequently told stories in Hollywood has been that of Alexander Dumas' The Three Musketeers.  For the new millennium, director Peter Hyam brings the tale back to the big screen again adding yet another spin to the classic story.   Unfortunately, as the years pass, each subsequent production delivers a product which strays even further from Dumas' original story.  Peter Hyam's The Musketeer may go down as worst of the lot for a variety of reasons, but one item that should not be on that lengthy list is the film's original score.

Following in the footsteps of composers like Herbert Stothart, Lalo Schifrin, Michael Kamen, and Nick Glennie-Smith, who have all composed scores for Musketeer-based films, is David Arnold.  Ironically, this "re-imagined" telling of the the Musketeer-story, complete with out-of-place Oriental-fight choreography, features a much more traditional, orchestral score than the last Musketeer feature-film, The Man in the Iron Mask by Nick Glennie-Smith.  Arnold returns to his big, bad, and braggadocios style of composing not effectively used by the composer since his score to Independence Day.  With that choice, Arnold employs the musical style that is best suited for heroic tale of the Musketeers.  Despite the many weaknesses of the film itself, David Arnold's score, as released by Decca Records, features a number of entertaining moments and may, in the end, stand as the only redeeming element of The Musketeer.

The soundtrack begins with a brief but rousing performance of Arnold's title theme. Arnold's main theme is certainly his boldest in some time and manages to stay just this side of the "corn"-o-copia that Independence Day ran head-first into.   The first five tracks turn out to be an engaging rollercoaster-like ride of film music.  The Main Titles (1) and Fight Inn (3) and Jailhouse Ruck (5) are molded in the classic, daring fashion fans of romantic-adventure-films fans have come to expect and delight in.  Contrasting the adrenaline-soaked music is a selection of tenderly emotional music, the best of which represents the romantic-love element.  The first few moments of I Will Find Him (2) includes a soft restatement of the title theme before it the level of intensity is elevated to more dramatic heights again.  D'Artagnan and Francesca (4) is simple and charming love theme played on guitar and gently accompanied by the strings, chimes, harp, and flutes.  The theme shows up again at track 9, Down by the River.  It lacks the same charm, but remains a pleasurable interlude. 

While the soundtrack initially grabs the listener's attention for the first 15 minutes, after track 5, the interest level dips as the mood becomes darker and when the raucous music surfaces such as in track 7 and 8, it feels rather redundant or even aimless.  After yet another restatement of the villainous theme in Febre (12), the intensity increases once again with All for One (13).  The remaining tracks finish out the soundtrack as strongly as it began with a pulsating, climactic, action-suite of tracks 14 through 16 and one last romantic reference in Ceremony (17) -  a fitting and satisfying conclusion to the soundtrack.

Being released concurrently with David Arnold's urban-score, Baby Boy, Arnold-fans will probably be more satisfied with The Musketeer.  Had David Arnold's score been attached to a more deserving film, it would surely receive more praise than it will likely garner.  Surely, the discredit done to Dumas' original story is unforgivable, but David Arnold's score is not party to the crime and remains, for the most part, a pleasurable listen.  The Musketeer falls far short of Richard Lester and Alexander Salkind's The Four Musketeers of 1973, but in terms of film-score and to Arnold's credit, it surpasses the majority of Musketeer-music to date. 

Track Listing and Ratings


Title Time


1 Main Title 2:15  ****
2 I Will Find Him 4:47  ***
3 Fight Inn 1:50  ****
4 D'Artagnan and Francesca 2:17  ****
5 Jailhouse Ruck 3:03  ***
6 Mansion Impossible 2:35  ***
7 The Riot Begins 4:39  ***
8 Coach Chase 4:58  ***
9 Down by the River 2:28  ***
10 Prepare Duschamp for Hell 1:18  ***
11 Ride to Paris 1:50  ***
12 Febre 1:37  ***
13 All for One 3:41  ***
14 The Charge 2:36  ****
15 Scaling the Tower 2:32  ****
16 Ladder Fight 2:55  ***
17 Ceremony 4:11  ****

Total Running Time


The Muskeeter (Soundtrack) by David Arnold

*The Experience-O-Meter displays the track to track listening experience of this soundtrack based on the 5-Star rating given to each track.  It provides a visual depiction of the ebbs and flows of the CD's presentation of the soundtrack.





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