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War for the Planet of the Apes (Michael Giacchino)

Sony Classical

War for the Planet of the Apes Soundtrack by Michael Giacchino (2017)

Get it:  If you enjoy a generally melancholic Giacchino score that sometimes emphasizes quietness with moments of sweeping drama that builds on his previous score in the series

Don’t get it:  If you want something epic, heroic, or something that “feels good” in its lightness


Michael Giacchino delivered a quite satisfactory score with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.  It was great for setting the tone of the film and, as far as that goes, it would be hard to complain.  But for this, the next installment of the series, the composer took it far beyond what he already established into a fantastic new realm.  The Great Ape Processional”  was arguably one of the biggest highlights of his Dawn score.  If that is one of the appealing aspects from that soundtrack to you, no doubt you’ll be quite pleased with what’s offered here (check out “Paradise Found” especially).  Those beautiful piano moments are included in War (possibly even improved), as well as the nearly anxiety-inducing (in a good way) parts from the other cues.  Then, before you know what really hit you, you’re back into the more tender moments filled with strings.  

There are many ways to describe this soundtrack:  beautiful, threatening, tender, dramatic, melancholic, and so many more.  At times its a bit magical.  But perhaps the best word to encompass it is captivating.  It’s not captivating in its inherent magnificence, but rather in its reverent stillness.  That, with so many flowing dramatic pieces mixed in, makes for quite the captivating experience. 

This has the whole package.  Giacchino has established himself already as one of the best composers at capturing and conveying emotions, and this score is no exception.  There are plenty of soundtracks today that forget to take their listeners on a journey through music, but make no mistake that War for the Planet of the Apes is one heck of a journey.

Bottom line:  if you listen to this on an autumn, rainy day, you’re guaranteed to have an amazing experience.  Frankly, even if you listen to it on a hot summer day, you still have the same guarantee.  This score captured the best elements of Dawn and took it three steps farther.  Because of this, it’s a welcoming experience to those who are already familiar with the previous scores and those who are not.  Therefore, in any case, there’s no excuse to not give it a listen.

The soundtrack for War for the Planet of the Apes can be ordered here.


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