Original Music by: Ilan Eshkeri
Just in case you missed it – and judging from the anemic box-office numbers everybody did – Nicholas Hoult’s latest film Collide hit theaters over the weekend. The pedal-to-the-metal actioner sees Hoult playing a man who gets involved with drug smugglers while backpacking around Europe … ’cause that’s the only way he can pay for his girlfriend’s emergency kidney transplant. Chaos reigns after a failed heist via high speed chases, car crashes, explosions, kidnapping, extortion, more explosions and – wait for it – tons of colliding. At least that’s what’s in the trailer, though I can’t imagine there’s much more to it. By most accounts, Collide is one of those “dump it in February and hope for the best” releases. And it’s an utter waste of a terrific cast that includes Felicity Jones, Ben Kingsley and Anthony Hopkins. That’s two Oscar winners and a nominee if you’re counting.
Collide may waste its onscreen talent, but it’s not a total waste of time. The film makes marvelous use of Ilan Eshkeri’s kinetic original music. Composed entirely with analogue synthesizers, Eshkeri’s music provides a thumping backdrop to the bold set pieces that permeate Collide. That music provides a surprising amount of uplift as well. There’s a warmth in many of the tracks that you don’t often hear in pure-synth composition. That’s particularly true of tracks like ‘Scrap Yard’ and ‘Juliet’. Later tracks like ‘Warehouse Escape’ and ‘Collide’ are nothing short of pure sonic adrenaline rush. ‘Truck Heist’ (my personal fave) is a stylish blend of both approaches that should make any ‘best of synth-wave’ list for 2017. To be honest, the song feels like it’s better than the scene that inspired it. Just like the rest of Eshkeri’s Collide score. Unlike the film, it deserves a much bigger audience.