Now You See Me 2 Soundtrack by Brian Tyler (2016)
Get it: If you were a fan of the first soundtrack and like to see it’s development
Don’t get it: If you wouldn’t enjoy a development from the original film’s score
When Brian Tyler released the score to the first Now You See Me film, many were astonished with it and took it to heart. With that as a precedent, Tyler returns to score the sequel to the film. How does the score live up to the expectations?
The first three tracks set up the tone for the remainder of the score, and here’s why. The first track, “Now You See Me 2 Fanfare”, is an epic piece that almost sounds like what would happen if John Williams got his hands on the score. This sets up the rest of the score for its complexities. There is so much going on in the background that an average listener may not even consciously notice, but will nonetheless feel. The second track is “Now You See Me 2 Main Titles”. This contributes to setting the tone because it is the theme we already know and love, but still new. It’s a condensed version, lasting 3 minutes, and sounds like the first theme grew up and matured. This sets the tone in that it provides something familiar, but it’s still new to the listener. The third track is called, “300 Seconds.” Finally, this contributes to the tone because it starts to really settle into the style of the film’s score while still interjecting — quite subtly — the familiar motif. However, while watching the film, you probably wouldn’t even notice the familiar part.
The score reflects a big band element, but one that is definitely set in the NYSM film world from the first film. In addition, this in no way means that any orchestral elements are lost. The balance between the new, stylistic approach, and the original orchestral qualities is definitely satisfying, again providing something new while still being positively recognizable. There are also elements that were inspired by part of the story’s locations, including China. The overall sound feels very cool, fresh, and clean. It feels a little more crisp than the original, but it is still exceptionally smooth and majestically mysterious. Plus, when the theme peeks out, it does so triumphantly.
It’s also interesting to note that this features a character theme (for the character Walter, played by Daniel Radcliffe). There is definitely a threatening quality to the cue, though hidden behind “pleasantries” in the sound which was seemingly done to match the character. The score seems to be perfectly in line with the action oriented magic show style this film has.
Final verdict? Hats off to Brian Tyler for delivering such a strong sequel to one of his most beloved scores thus far. If you’re a fan of the original, this is no-question something you must check out. If you aren’t as familiar with the predecessor, this is still one that any soundtrack fan would definitely want to check out.
From Varese Sarabande, this soundtrack is available digitally June 10th, or you can preorder the CD here from Amazon