Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer managed to bring both a sense of fear and foreboding and the spirit of heroism to his score for this 2001 war epic. Faith Hill's soaring ballad There You'll Be leads to Zimmer's pieces Tennessee; Brothers; Attack; December 7th , and more!
According to a Hollywood tradition that stretches all the way back to From Here to Eternity
, there's never been anything quite so romantic as the idyllic days and hours before torpedo and dive bombers from the Japanese Imperial Navy blew the bejesus out of the unsuspecting U.S. fleet anchored at Pearl Harbor. Far be it for producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Michael Bay to, er, rock the boat. Just as Bruckheimer and Bay did with Armageddon
(where romance blossomed in the idyllic days and hours before a Texas-sized asteroid threatened to blow the bejesus out of Earth itself), they've again turned to über-hitmaker Diane Warren to set the tone; as sung by Faith Hill
, "There You'll Be" strikes the perfect balance of apocalyptic bathos, as instantly inviting--and ultimately hollow--as an 89-cent chocolate bunny. Composer Hans Zimmer
fares a bit better, though his piano dirge and orchestral score occasionally get mired in the syrup as they build toward the inevitable. The action sequences themselves are somewhat subdued (especially by previous Zimmer standards), with "December 7th" even echoing Platoon
and Barber's Adagio for Strings. Crucially, Zimmer evokes the tragic loss that goes hand in hand with heroism, often no mean feat in a modern computer-effects-laden, megabudget blockbuster-in-waiting. --Jerry McCulley