Man of Steel Soundtrack by Hans Zimmer (2013)
Get it: If you enjoy the consistent elements of any one of the tracks (or Zimmer’s style)
Don’t get it: If you are looking for a soundtrack that has more elements of melody than rhythm
Given the success of The Dark Knight trilogy, it was only a matter of time before Christopher Nolan became involved with the production of a Superman film. As usual, he was able to tag his go-to composer Hans Zimmer (who was very reluctant to take on the task). Before anything else is said, one thing absolutely needs to get out of the way. This simply cannot be connected in anyone’s mind to the John Williams traditional score for the hero. Even when John Ottman scored Superman Returns back in 2006 there were grounds for some comparison. However, this entire new face of the franchise (the film, music, story, etc.) cannot justly be compared to any previous film in the series.
Having said that, it is time to look at this soundtrack from a new, original perspective. With the first couple tracks there is a good, empowering tone. Once that is through, the percussion section takes control. While this is good action music, it is somewhat generic in nature. Someone could take this music and put it in Inception and it would work. You could put in it King Kong and it would work. You could put it in pretty much any action movie and it would work at least fairly well. However, there isn’t much here that, when you hear it in an amusement park, you go, “Oh it’s Superman!” (unless you are very familiar with it). The 3 main notes that Zimmer uses are good, but they are basically the only 3 notes to carry the weight of the score, so you would likely have to like it in order to like the rest of the soundtrack. Again, you must like any one track to like the soundtrack as a whole because it can be fairly redundant in theme. If you skip around the entire soundtrack, anyone who isn’t very familiar with the movie might be hard-pressed to know if the music is from the first or second half. None of this is supposed to be saying if it was good or bad, but rather just point out some elements. If you like the soundtrack, chances are you’ll really like it.
It seems that audiences either loved or hated this soundtrack. Here are just some of the thoughts:
Loved it: It was empowering, glorious, and majestic. It made me want to go stand on a tall rock with my fists on my hips and cape in the wind. I was really able to feel this soundtrack.
Hated it: Predictable, boring, and overrun with generic percussion. The tracks generally blended into one blurry mesh. If it was possible, I would say that this soundtrack plagiarized itself from track to track. The main theme (if you can call it that) was the only worth-it part.
You will just have to listen to the soundtrack yourself to determine which side you fall on. Perhaps you’ll be one of the few who fall somewhere in the middle.