Home > Reviews > MEET THE SPARTANS – Christopher Lennertz

MEET THE SPARTANS – Christopher Lennertz

January 25, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

These ‘instant spoof’ movies – Scary Movie, Date Movie, Epic Movie and the like – are becoming so tiresome. They wore out their welcome a long time ago, but nevertheless the studios keep churning them out, so someone, somewhere, must like them. Meet the Spartans is the latest such rehash, taking potshots at films such as 300, Spiderman III, Shrek and Ghost Rider – all of which were clearly rife for ridicule (not). Kevin Sorbo, Sean Maguire (a long way from Grange Hill) and Carmen Electra slum it in the cast; Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer direct.

The irony of all this is that Christopher Lennertz’s score is entirely serious – as Elmer Bernstein showed, the best way to score comedy is to not treat it like a comedy – and ends up actually being better than a lot of the scores for the movies this film lampoons. His take on the 300 sound – all wailing Arabic vocals, ethereal female sopranos, ethnic woodwinds, bombastic battle marches and stirring themes – puts Tyler Bates’ efforts on the real thing to shame.

His version of “A King Returns” has a truly great and epic scope, and doesn’t rip off Elliot Goldenthal in the slightest, while his action music in “A Beast Defeated”, “Spiderman Fight”, “Ghost Rider/Rocky” and “Final Battle” is exciting and powerful, as one might expect. Similarly, his romantic writing in cues like “Courtship & Family” and “Tattoos and Sentiments” has a tragic, wistful quality, while the vocal writing in “Goodbye My Queen” and “Do It Like Never Before” is just gorgeous, almost to the levels of Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard in Gladiator.

Even when the ubiquitous rock elements enter the fray, in “Cliff Diving”, “Leonidas Steams” and “Xerxes Transforms”, for example, the effect remains superior. My only question – why is Lennertz scoring the spoof and not the real thing? It’s wholly inexplicable to think that composers this talented get palmed away with the cheap knockoffs while others get the limelight; if you can find this promo, you’ll understand why.

Rating: ****

Track Listing:

  • Land of Sparta (1:35)
  • Survival in the Wild (1:01)
  • A King Returns/The Pit (0:57)
  • A Beast is Defeated (1;17)
  • Courtship & Family (1:29)
  • The Pit of Death (2:43)
  • Dilio Likes Cliff (0:18)
  • Tattoos and Sentiments (1:26)
  • The Army Assembles (1:06)
  • Goodbye My Queen (1:53)
  • He’s Got a Huge Package (0:24)
  • Persians Approach (1:14)
  • I Can’t Read (0:41)
  • Cliff Diving (0:50)
  • Xerxes Approaches (0:38)
  • The Prophets/A Human Chill (1:08)
  • Do It Like Never Before (0:53)
  • Your King Needs Your Help/Leonidas Steams (1:03)
  • Spiderman Fight (2:02)
  • A Creature Awaits (0:50)
  • Ghost Rider/Rocky (2:59)
  • Final Battle (2:58)
  • Xerxes Transforms (2:09)
  • A God King Falls (2:53)

Running Time: 34 minutes 37 seconds

Promo (2008)

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