They lied to me
They shot at me . . .
They’re dead to me
And now they are my enemy.
I didn’t care for this film at all, but it was obvious that Zimmer was trying to do something very different with the score, so I picked up this soundtrack with some curiosity. I did get the Deluxe Edition, so it has two CDs, one dedicated entirely to the score and the other split between score and songs used in the movie. The songs, just to get them out of the way, are pretty bland, with the exception of Phosphorescent’s gorgeous Song for Zula and Pharrell’s Here which is this really anthemic love song and should have had a better title, like, say All Existence or something, which is a very important phrase in the song.
On to the score, well, it’s . . . interesting. Zimmer and his collaborators are very clearly trying something really new and that’s always a good thing, particularly with Zimmer who’s been around a long time and, though he is quite often actually experimental, certainly has his tics. The Electro theme is a strange, almost playful minor-key march; it’s not at all what one would expect and one would expect even less that this theme also includes a really violent dubstep interlude, but it does. Also key to the Electro music is the way he loops in voices that are actually representing the voices in Electro’s head. I didn’t think that worked well in the movie and it doesn’t work a whole lot better on disc, but again, it’s interesting. The Goblin theme is essentially the Joker theme from The Dark Knight, a sort of modulating drone, only it’s a bit higher pitched here. It was bashed as lazy by some back when The Dark Knight came out and it probably seems even lazier here, but it’s an effect I like well enough that it doesn’t bother me at all really. There’s plenty of menacing music and plenty of melancholy piano based music and this all works fine. The Spider-Man Theme itself is really pretty rote, just a blasé series of trumpet fanfares, and it actually only shows up maybe twice on the first disc, while we get the Electro and Goblin themes on a kind of constant rotation. The centerpiece of the first disc is obviously My Enemy, a nearly ten minute selection from the Times Square sequence in the film and it’s good (the looping voices are my only real beef, even though I’m not a big dubstep fan). The second CD has a couple of really long suites, simply called The Electro Suite & The Harry Suite; the first is nearly twelve minutes and the second is nearly eight. But on both discs the score selections bleed into each other with no breaks between tracks, except for a couple on the first disc. So, essentially the entire first disc is an hour long suite and the second disc features a nearly thirty minute suite. All in all, I enjoyed listening to the music and, while it isn’t entirely successful and often kind of phoned in, a lot of it is genuinely outside-the-box and new territory for Zimmer, so that’s cool. On the whole, not a great soundtrack, but it definitely deserved a far better movie; there are moments in the Electro and Goblin sections of the soundtrack when I did kind of get a bit of a chill and just think, God, imagine if the movie had actually been good. The music, I guess, kind of paints a nice picture of the movie I actually wanted, which is interesting. Anyway, whatever. 2 ½ stars.
tl;dr – Zimmer’s score has some really outside the box thinking and boasts some memorable themes, but the experimental sections aren’t entirely successful and it’s occasionally only average. 2 ½ stars.