Title - 'John Wick' (Varese Sarabande)
Artist - Tyler Bates & Joel J. Richard
From the off, it’s obvious that the initial goal of this deep, coursing soundtrack was to get inside the head space of the central character, John Wick. The tone and essence of Wicks story plays out before us, introducing him to the audience, allowing us to feel his pain alongside him. Then, slowly, never jumping, the score supplied by both Tyler Bates and Joel J. Richard applies itself to the movie scene by scene.
As for the movie itself, an ex-hitman comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters that took everything from him. With New york City as his bullet-riddled playground, John Wick (played in fine, back-to-his-best style by Keanu Reeves) is a fresh and stylized take on the “assassin genre.”
Having been friends for 15 years, both Tyler Bates and Joel J. Richard now each others musical ins and outs, and working together for so long has enabled them to blend their talents so wisely, so tautly, so precisely that this soundtrack, in particular, is simply just perfect.
The music, for the most part,, is raw, fun, dark, aggressive and unorthodox, that’s for sure. But it’s also all in line with John Wick’s hitman persona, whilst at the same time representing John’s emotional connection to his wife. Using their music to help differentiate the various set-pieces and fight sequences, ‘John Wick’ is Tyler Bates and Joel J. Richard’s finest musical hour - in my humble opinion.
Reviewed by: Russell A. Trunk