HitmanAs composer Geoff Zanelli recalls his phone conversation with Robert Kraft from FOX asking him if he’d be interested in working on this score, a few key words stick out: “All I can remember hearing is ‘Hitman… Orchestra and Choir… Paris.’ After winning a Primetime Emmy in 2006 for his work on Into the West, Zanelli immediately took on a much larger project: the much-hyped summer thriller Disturbia. He obviously hit some right notes, as he’s been hauled on board for the upcoming animated flick Delgo and Ricky Gervais’ currently filming feature Ghost Town.

In the Hitman soundtrack, we find Zanelli taking the reins from Hitman game music composer Jesper Kyd. The result is a fairly impressive electronic-laden action-packed extravaganza inline with the film itself. While the film may have come as something of a disappointment to many, the soundtrack doesn’t even hint at that. There is a distinct video-gamish tint to some of the tracks, as the quick strings in “Roses for Nika”, “Istanbul” and “Random Complication” will attest to, but other tracks like “I Need You to Die” and “Denoument” betray Zanelli’s score-writing abilities by providing moments of emotional depth to an otherwise shoot-em-up score.

There’s almost an eastern slant to some of the tracks, though it’s always just under the surface (most notably in “The Belicoff Assassination”). Perhaps this is meant to portray the almost ninja-like efficiency of Agent 47, or perhaps it is just the byproduct of all action/thriller scores. The bookending opening and closing tracks “Ava Maria” (the final one performed by LDS singing superstar Christina England) provide a somber opening and closing, though the opening version is a bit more arresting in its quiet solemness, while the final version finds the vocals a bit loud.

“This CD reflects the intense, hard work of everyone listed in the credits, who worked tirelessly and flawlessly around the clock to meet what was at first an impossible deadline.” While his thanks are heartfelt, it’s also clear (from both his comment and the soundtrack itself) that the entire production was a bit rushed. But if this is what Zanelli can pull off in hyper mode, the 33-year old has a long career ahead of him.

Zach’s Rating: B-
Perfect For: Video game adventures turned live action
Stay Away if: You’ve got enough music from the videogame

To purchase the soundtrack for Hitman, visit Amazon
To hear Christina England sing “Ava Maria” visit Youtube

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