Hans Zimmer: Scoring M:i-2

Originally published in Soundtrack Magazine Vol.19/No.74/2000
Text reproduced by kind permission of the editor, Luc Van de Ven and Rudy Koppl

Hans ZimmerIt was at the end of April, almost a month before the film’s release, when composer Hans Zimmer most likely began to record his film score to the new Paramount summer blockbuster MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2. That being the case, it’s possible that Hans went creatively berserk with his band, jamming at lighting speed into the night and at all hours of the morning, for days on end, creating a high energy, adrenaline pumped, rhythmically based rock score, with a variety of other musical styles included in-between. The end result became a collaboration between 12 musicians called ‘The Mission Impossible Band’.

As the score progressed, each musician’s individual identity emerged in order to flavor Zimmer’s score for different parts of the film. Inside all of this exists the ‘Main Title Theme’, which was a reinterpretation of Lalo’s piece, performed by the band and interfaced in parts throughout the whole film. Thus the combination of these elements fused into the instrumental soundtrack of M:I-2. Now it’s almost four weeks after M:I-2 opened. The film is non-stop action, total electronic gadgetry, with wall-to-wall music, centering on the Tom Cruise character, Ethan Hunt. The score is a curious breed of different styles and approaches that deal with the mood of the moment. One progression or type of cue that was used many times throughout the film, to create a sense of movement or anticipation, reminded me of one approach that’s used in Pink Floyd’s sound. That laid back, percussive guitar picking, which keeps the rhythm going and a solid beat underneath the tune.

At other times Hans would completely go off into another direction, like using Lisa Gerrard, who scored GLADIATOR with him, to create a very soft and moody, ambient, thoughtful moment of anticipation or emotion. Doing this created a great contrast in the score to give it greater variety. Some of the score’s musical styles were very hard to pin down. Many were short, and many went by so fast within the film that much of Zimmer’s thematic intent seemed very elusive.

In retrospect, though, the multi-faceted band styles of Hans Zimmer prevailed and did their job, the film was successful, many people loved it.

Another successful Venture for this modern maven of Media Music. At least it didn’t self-destruct the moment the movie ended.

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