Prepare to be taken into the darkness by Michael Giacchino’s incredible score from The Batman
It is exactly one week until Matt Reeves’ ‘The Batman’ is finally unleashed upon the world. We have been waiting for the film to emerge from the Batcave and the darkness for a while now. And it is so tantalizingly close. The review embargo ends on Monday but until then, we have seen what appears to be critical praise for the film. But what of Michael Giacchino‘s score for the film? After the release of three pieces of music from the soundtrack, could the rest of the score match up? Will it be a classic score for a Batman film? Or will it be a damp squib, ready to be swatted like a…well, bat?
THE BATMAN: MUSIC BY MICHAEL GIACCHINO
I’m happy to report that the score is AMAZING! And I don’t use that term lightly. We have all heard the theme for our hero. We have slinked alongside the Catwoman theme. And we have quizzed ourselves regarding The Riddler’s theme. But what Michael Giacchino didn’t tell us is that his score would be everything we could hope for. Dark, brooding with a few high spots along the way, it is sublime. The theme for ‘The Batman’ is at play quite a lot during proceedings. And sometimes we get that all-important shiver down the spine when it plays. But the score is more than that, in every sense of the word.
Just by listening to the full album, we can hear hints of ‘Batman: The Animated Series.’ in the themes we hear. And that is sheer brilliance. Shirley Walker’s motifs are present all the way through. We also get a slight Hans Zimmer vibe from his scores for Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dark Knight’ trilogy. They are very subtle hints but they are there all the same. And that is a good thing. This is Batman at his darkest, musically wise. It seems to fit the character well. We also have hints of Danny Elfman from the score to ‘Batman’ and ‘Batman Returns.’ Again, they are very subtle but enter into our minds as we hear the score. And Elliot Goldenthal’s ‘Batman Forever’ score gets a subtle nod as well.
Zoe Kravitz’s character of Catwoman gets her own theme. And it pops up here and there along the way. But not as much as I thought we would hear. But her music once again seems to fit the character. It is graceful, slinky. Just like a cat. It does appear at moments where you wouldn’t expect it to. And that is a good thing. It helps break up the dark mood that the score provides for the most part. It has the sound of a mix between Catwoman’s theme from ‘Batman Returns’ and Chase Merdian’s theme from ‘Batman Forever.’ But it is a joy to hear a powerful theme for the character again.
The Riddler’s theme is heard at various points during the score. And at some points, It sounds reminiscent of The Joker’s theme from ‘The Dark Knight.’ The violins on occasion screech out from the speakers, letting us know that the villain isn’t to be messed with. The hints of menace that exude from the parts of the score where his theme plays give us a chill down the spine. This isn’t some neon-colored villain. This is an evil and vicious psychopath that is on the loose. We can only guess as to his true motives. Or where he will lead us to by the finale. But the music gives us a powerful warning that he’s planning something terrible.
Another thing that is striking about the score is the entwinement at times of both Batman’s and Catwoman’s themes. In the track ‘A Bat In The Rafters Pt.2’, we get such an entwinement. But it cut off in its prime by having those screeching violins return. Is this a hint as to Catwoman’s fate in the film? Or could it signify her escape from the Dark Knight’s clutches? Who knows. But it is a terrific piece of music. One minute a dark and heavy blast of The Batman theme, followed by moments of lightness. Following this, we have Catwoman’s theme before those violins screech once more. And the track slips away with an ominous and sad feeling tinged to it.
Before we even sit down for the film, we know that Colin Farrell’s version of The Penguin isn’t in it for that much. And that pretty much spells out the music we get of the character on the soundtrack. It is very brief and fleeting. And more of a comical nature than the rest of the score. It still exudes moments of menace but is more of a light touch on proceedings.
Just by listening to the score, we get the feeling that we can hear the dividing line between Bruce Wayne and Batman. Bruce Wayne seems to have a moving and joyful theme with a touch of sadness behind it. Like a man who is struggling with his dual identity. He shows us chinks of light that are dimmed by his self-doubts. And make no mistake, Batman may wear a cowl and a costume but it is Bruce Wayne that is the mask. The score brings that fact to us in spades. Batman is the reality, Bruce Wayne is the falsehood. The score also has a terrific hint of mystery to it. And has that old feeling of classic detective thrillers. This is what the film is all about if we believe the pre-release hype.
What Michael Giacchino has accomplished here is nothing short of breathtaking. It is amazing. It fits the legend of the Dark Knight perfectly. From the outset, we know we are in for a wild ride. And Giacchino’s music seems so apt, so perfect that we can’t wait to sit down and see the action that goes alongside it. I have listened to it four times back to back already and can honestly say, it will be played more before the day is out. It is hard to pick a favorite track from the score.
The track ‘The Bat’s True Calling’ is a real highlight. But I will say I enjoyed the final track ‘Sonata In Darkness’ a hell of a lot. I seriously doubt this will appear in the film. But it is the themes we have heard throughout the score played on a piano. And it is a wonderful composition.
Here is the full tracklisting for the score. Be warned, however. Some of the track names could be spoilers for the movie and the events that happen during the three-hour running time. So, if you don’t want to know anything, turn away NOW:
1. Can’t Fight City Halloween (4:04)
2. Mayoral Ducting (2:34)
3. It’s Raining Vengeance (4:31)
4. Don’t Be Voyeur with Me (2:38)
5. Crossing the Feline (1:46)
6. Gannika Girl (2:30)
7. Moving in for the Gil (4:23)
8. Funeral and Far Between (1:45)
9. Collar ID (1:15)
10. Escaped Crusader (2:44)
11. Penguin of Guilt (3:44)
12. Highway to the Anger Zone (5:19)
13. World’s Worst Translator (3:34)
14. Riddles, Riddles Everywhere (1:54)
15. Meow and You and Everyone We Know (5:18)
16. For All Your Pennyworth (2:38)
17. Are You a Kenzie or a Can’t-zie? (5:45)
18. An Im-purr-fect Murder (3:48)
19. The Great Pumpkin Pie (2:22)
20. Hoarding School (4:55)
21. A Flood of Terrors (4:29)
22. A Bat in the Rafters, Pt. 1 (4:33)
23. A Bat in the Rafters, Pt. 2 (6:42)
24. The Bat’s True Calling (3:05)
25. All’s Well That Ends Farewell (2:41)
26. The Batman (6:47)
27. The Riddler (5:01)
28. Catwoman (3:03)
29. Sonata in Darkness (12:11)
Believe me when I say that Michael Giacchino has delivered a score of pure brilliance. It is sublime. It is epic, dark, moody, and perfect for this new version of the character. And it recalls everything that made us love Batman in the first place. And I can’t get enough of it. Be prepared to be taken into the darkness by a true musical genius.
‘The Batman’ By Michael Giacchino is available to buy on digital download now.
Source: WaterTower Music
Carl Roberts is the News Editor for The Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter where he uses the force frequently!