Dedicated to reviews and news of music for film, TV and games

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Punisher: War Zone
Music by Michael Wandmacher
Costa Communications Promo
46 Tracks 64:52 mins

The Marvel Comics character, The Punisher, has already enjoyed one cinematic outing, which was quite entertaining. Now, Frank Castle returns, this time in the guise of Ray Stevenson (so memorable in the Rome TV series); with a new composer in tow, in the person of Michael Wandmacher. The previous film was scored by Italian Carlo Siliotto, whose score actually received quite a bit of critical acclaim, but which I found did little for the film and sported a main theme far removed from the kind of thing I was expecting and hoping for.
This is probably Wandmacher's biggest assignment to date and so what has he delivered?
Well, the composer's publicists kindly sent me a promo disc of what could possibly be, at over an hour's running time, the complete score. Certainly, his main theme is much more suitable to the character, heard initially over the "Main Titles" as a thunderous, horns-lead, rhythmic affair, mixing electronics and much percussion with the orchestra, all elements found throughout the score; though at times the theme shows its versatility when it returns in more subtle, meaningful variations. Much of the action that follows relies quite heavily on a big bank of percussion to provide some pretty powerful and exciting passages; and, there are also suitably menacing moments of villainy, often characterised by cold electronic sounds, throughout. But it's not all action and menace by any means, and brief moments of sentiment, poignancy and tragedy can be found here and there, where delicate keyboards, strings and woodwinds have their say.
Although a song album has been released by Lion's Gate, so far, regrettably, there is no news of a score album, so you'll have to see the film if you want to hear Wandmacher's music, though you can listen to a couple of tracks by visiting


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