This was THE album I listened to during my first year at art school, any time I had a project due in 18 hours that needed to get done well and done fast, which was frequently. It's big and fast and pounding and it gets the job done. However, it also has a lovely little theme ("Jade") which, years later, still pops into my head on occasion.
Yes, I suppose Hans Zimmer has done better work on better films -- you'll notice a marked similarity in Gladiator and in Pirates of the Caribbean (scored by Zimmer's protege Klaus Badelt, but "overproduced" by Zimmer). But I for one liked The Rock a lot, for what it was, and the music -- which I listen to more often than the music from either of the two other movies above -- has done an excellent job of staying with me long after I saw the movie. If you want music to finish projects by, this album is it.