cover art for The Specialist

The Specialist

1994

CD: Epic Soundtrax EK 66370

  1. Main Title
  2. Bogota 1984
  3. The Specialist in Miami
  4. May and Ray at the Cemetary
  5. May Dances with Tomas - "Did You Call Me"
  6. Ray Covers May - "Did You Call Me"
  7. After Tomas
  8. The First Bomb - Ray's Place
  9. Explosive Trent
  10. The Parking Lot bomb
  11. Don't Touch Me Ned - Bomb for Tomas
  12. The Death of Tomas
  13. May's Room - "Did You Call Me"
  14. Ray Meets May at Her Funeral
  15. Let's See That Beautiful Face - "Did You Call Me"
  16. Closing in on Ray
  17. There Goes the Hotel Room - The Fight
  18. May Meets Joe - I'm Not a Woman You Can Trust
  19. You Go In and Get Him - "Did You Call Me"
  20. The Whole Place is Wired - She's Hot Ray
  21. Get to Hell Out of Here
  22. You Bastard - How Do You Feel? - Better! - "Did You Call Me" End Title

The Movie

Sly Stallone made one good movie, Rocky, and we've been paying for it ever since. It surprises me--at least with Steven Segal or Rob Schneider I know from the beginning I'm going to hate the movie. But with Stallone I feel like I'm being betrayed.

I should never have been surprised about The Specialist. I'd never read those specifically, but I'd read from the genre--The Executioner, The Destroyer--little paperback originals that were hot in the 70's, of which there are several hundred of each series. Ex-Green Beret's family is killed by the mafia--now he's a mercinary for hire, and wreaking revenge on those who wronged him.

Yeah, whatever. This is one of those. Stallone is an explosives specialist. Sharon Stone is a grown woman who witnessed her family being brutally killed when she was a girl. Now she wants the killers dead--and she wants Stallone to do it.

It's everything I hate in modern movies. Bad dialog. Bad acting from people who can do better. A dumb plot. Give it up people. You've got enough money--quit trying to hit the jackpot with crap and make a movie you actually care about--and maybe the audience will too.


The Music

I was shocked to find that I liked the score. Barry quit doing the Bond movies when they started back up with Pierce Brosnan--but I think this could have been a Bond score. It's got a lot of that sound--the big orchestra, the brass, a sense of urgency. But by far what I find the best is "Did You Call Me," a recurring theme. It's piano jazz, sad and melodic--it adds depth to a movie that's otherwise all gloss. I think Barry would have done well to add it to one of his Moviola releases.


Release Notes

You want to be careful if you go looking for this one--there are three versions of the soundtrack album. The first release was mostly a rock anthology with (I think) one or two cuts with Barry's music. The second was an album of "mixes" of the songs, and the third was Barry's score (as noted above.)