Blockbuster Chinese fantasy “event” movie gets massive, full-blooded Christopher Young action soundtrack. Donnie Yen, Chow Yun Fat, Aaron Kwok star, Poi Soi Cheang directs. Legendary literary masterpiece from Ming, Qing dynasties gets elaborate, effect-laden, big-budget film treatment. Sun Wukong, China’s legendary “Monkey King”, challenges the gods in dynamic fashion. Epic battles in Heaven, on Earth abound. Christopher Young fashions his most powerful, epic-scale work ever. Scored for large orchestra with augmented percussion plus choir, Young provides magnificent music full of rich melody, pulsating rhythmic drive and – in particular – incredible action sequences. Avoiding dissonance per se, Young hits the bullseye with lengthy, tonal harmonies, soaring themes even as his action material dominates. Action cues with emotion. Action cues with scope. Sensational, powerful music is the result! Virtually every cue delivers but deserving spotlights are grand, emotion-charged “Nuwa, The Goddess Of Works” with it’s alternating minor-to-major harmonic palette and crescendoing melodic line, and what might be the composer’s single most exciting 17-minute sequence of all-time, “Niu Mo Wang, The Bull Demon King”. Here Young launches with imposing energetic rhythm, then proceeds to increase density, musical ideas in single massive battle cue while (incredibly) maintaining accessible harmonic vernacular and epic action feel at the same time. Contrasting ideas, unrelenting rhythms, flamboyant orchestrations abound. This is grand, sweeping music delivered with ferocity, intensity. Wow! If epic film scores are your bag, it doesn’t get any better than this today. Nic Raine conducts Slovak National Symphony Orchestra, Allan Wilson conducts Lucnica Chorus.