Well, it’s another Brian Tyler score. Fresh off from one of his worst scores in recent memory (Power Rangers), I didn’t have high hopes for this one. In fact my expectations were so low I waited an extra week debating whether to review this or Randy Newman’s Cars 3. My week over I listened to The Mummy. My expectations were way off.
The score starts with our main theme, a fitting piece for an undead Egyptian queen. From the first seconds this doesn’t sound like Tyler’s usual music. It sounds more like an Alexandre Desplat composition. The sound doesn’t stop as we’re next greeted with “The Secret of the Mummy” and “Nick’s theme”, which continue the strong musical tone. They even feature cues Goldsmith might approve of.
Over the next few tracks Tyler begins to expand and add a depth I thought he couldn’t achieve. “Egypt’s Next Great Queen” has surprising restraint, “The Call of the Ancients” (while Zimmer-esque) and “A Sense of Adventure” are both enjoyable and make great adventure music.
Speaking of action Tyler makes the best of that too. “A Warning of Monsters”, “Concourse of the Undead”, “The Sand of Wrath”, and “Chaos, Mayhem, Destruction” all make use of a wide range of instruments and have thundering percussion (much like Goldsmith loved to do).
“Power and Temptation” and “Pathogen of Evil” show off equal restraint and atmosphere. Along with tracks like “Dawn of Evil” and “The Calling” they also showcase a composing ability I never heard from Tyler’s earlier works. Unlike past scores he builds suspense and doesn’t drop the musical bomb until he’s ready. His instrument choices of a full orchestra, percussion, choir and various unique sounds back that up.
There’s a little over two hours of music on the “deluxe edition” of the soundtrack. With the movie only running at 107 minutes some of it’s likely cut. And whatever’s cut is a shame because this is great. It has so many things plenty of major scores today forget: distinct themes, variety, quiet moments, and being listenable by itself.
The Mummy is very much on par with Goldsmith’s 1999 score and possibly the best score Brian Tyler’s written. While it probably won’t win any major awards it’s a welcome return to traditional action/adventure music. Check this out!
FINAL RATING: 4.6/5