Whatever the commercial and creative failings of Renny Harlin's 1995 pirate saga Cutthroat Island, one can't lay blame at the feet of composer John Debney. His music captures the larger-than-life drama and adventure of the high seas with extraordinary verve and wit, and remains one of the most original action scores of the decade. With its baroque flourishes and epic scale, Cutthroat Island pays obvious homage to the thrilling scores of Hollywood's golden age, but there's no denying the tongue-in-cheek approach underlying Debney's postmodern sensibilities. Themes like "Setting Sail" boast the regal bearing of classical symphonic fanfares, but retain an ironic streak that acknowledges this is a popcorn movie and nothing more. Prometheus' expanded two-disc reissue restores Debney's lengthy score to its entirety, adding a handful of demos and bonus tracks as well as a lavish and insightful booklet.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Ankeny