" Main Theme to kill for "
Written by Thomas Glorieux
- Review of
the limited release
Shoot to Kill (also known as Deadly Pursuit) is an adventure thriller starring Sidney Poitier, Tom Berenger, Andrew Robinson and Kirstie Alley. The film was directed by Roger Spottiswoode and was critically well received at the time of its release. Director Spottiswoode chose John Scott for the music, and he chose well. Shoot to Kill quickly became a favourite of many Scott fans, especially due to the memorable main theme. And it was that main theme that I noticed whilst hearing it on the bootleg of King Kong Lives, in a different performance however. In a matter of speaking, I fell in love with that performance so much, that I think this one doesn't equal it. But let me remind you that this is still a winning moment of a long but interesting listening experience.
First of all, it's clear to remember, the main theme moment you receive at the end of the score is the only true outburst of that main theme on the soundtrack. You won't hear it so memorable, outlandish or captivating as during the "End Titles". You'll spot it everywhere in the score all right, but never so stirring. The opening statement in "Main Title" is effective, smoldering behind a suspenseful sound design. And I like the way it doesn't give anything away at the begin. The same for the brief statement at the begin of "Kill my Wife Next", followed by suspenseful music for trumpets and strings.
There's not that much action music to begin with. The smoldering use of the main theme (every track delivers you different lengths and variations of it) is overshadowed by the percussive rhythm of "Boat Chase" (which will remind you easily of Aliens), the jazzy main theme is battling the suspense and rhythm in "Sara's Best Shot" and the 10 minute "Let Her Go or Die" dares to infuse a more rhythmic suspenseful tone.
But in the end it's all about the theme and how to present it. The wonderful saxophone statements during the score, the supreme orchestral arrangement during "Climbing Trek", a rousing and almost totally unrecognizable arrangement in "The Storm (Part I)" or during some exciting moments in the 10 minute "Let her Go or Die", Scott delivers it you over and over again.
But Shoot to Kill isn't always suspenseful or action based. Just listen to the lovely flute version of the theme in "Bishop's Falls", the many many suspenseful variations in "Blazing Saddle", "It's a Long Way Down No.1" or the dramatic tone of it during "The Bodies" and "Say your Name". No Shoot to Kill is sometimes also extremely different.
Yet in the end it's once again amazing how many times John Scott actually states this main theme without making it sound similar or repetitive in any way. Somehow you even wish to hear it more, just so see how many variations Scott can put it through. Of course this is not the first time John Scott composed a one theme driven score and got away with it. Here the variations make it interesting, but the few orchestral outbursts make it special. Shoot to Kill is a pretty good score, always smoldering behind some suspenseful saxophone or beat, but never becoming too burdensome or heavy. And when he sings off with that stirring final version, you know you have just witnessed a theme to die for. Sorry to shoot for.
1. Main Title (3.30) Excellent track
2. Kill my Wife Next (6.37)
3. Boat Chase (5.13)
4. The Road Block (1.33)
5. Bishop's Falls (1.01)
6. Happy Campers (1.55)
7. Blazing Saddle (1.46)
8. I Hate the Woods (0.46)
9. Behold the Gorge (0.42)
10. It's a Long Way Down No.1 (0.38)
11. It's a Long Way Down No.2 (Parts I & II) (2.34)
12. Climbing Trek (2.50) Excellent track
13. Not a Bear (0.29)
14. And the Killer Is (3.22)
15. Who's Jonathan (0.43)
16. The Bodies (3.23)
17. Say Your Name (2.22)
18. The Chimney (1.13)
19. The Storm (Part I) (2.04)
20. The Storm (Part II) (2.09) Excellent track
21. Mr. Bear (1.03)
22. Sara's Best Shot (2.05)
23. Bingo (0.21)
24. Torching a Fence (2.06)
25. Let Her Go or Die (10.51)
26. End Titles (3.50) Excellent track
27. Kill my Wife Next (Original Version) (1.52)
28. Bishop's Falls (Original Version) (1.03)
29. It's a Long Way Down No.2 (Part II - Revised Version) (0.57)
30. Climbing Trek (Original Version) (3.02)
31. Roller Rink Source No.1 (2.33)
32. Roller Rink Source No.2 (1.59)
Total Length: 76.32