Itís refreshing to listen to a Hans Zimmer score written for something other than a titanically massive and serious film. Granted, it was co-written with Lorne Balfe, but it nevertheless seems to bring something unexpected and refreshing out of Zimmer. The most recent collaboration of the two composers was the scoring for the video game Call of Duty 2: Modern Warfare, for which Zimmer wrote the theme and Balfe the in-game soundtrack. Even that music sounded more typical of Zimmerís titanic scoring, which leads me to believe that the change in compositional style for Megamind can be attributed to the nature of the film rather than the people around which Zimmer surrounds himself.
In any case, the fact of the matter is that the music, while lacking in engaging originality, is light and entertaining. (Which is exactly what one would expect from an animated kidís movie.) That isnít to say, however, that the music is without merit. Quite the contrary. Tracks like ďStars and TightsĒ are full of stirring (albeit unoriginal) music that beautifully evoke the action and emotion of the film. Itís hard to say whether itís because of the unoriginality of the music or something else, but much of the soundtrack is forgettable and easy to drift away from. Abrupt and scattered lines of loud music serve little more than to remind the listener and bring his attention back to the soundtrack.
Itís no snub to the symphony that performed the soundtrack since it didnít exist. Yes, unfortunately, the soundtrack is synthesized. A letdown, to be sure. Hans Zimmerís composing is simply too rich and powerful to be relegated to a synthesizer. However, I suppose that if there were any plus side to this, itíd be that the synthesized instruments sound, for the most part, fairly real.
Complimenting the music scoring is a slew of classics like Elvis Presleyís ďA Little Less Conversation,Ē Gilbert OíSullivanís ďAlone Again (Naturally),Ē and George Thorogood & The Destroyersí ďBad to the Bone.Ē In the case of ďA Little Less Conversation,Ē it has been tastefully remixed - and I emphasize that it was tastefully done - to provide a stronger bass beat, richer (synthesized) instrumentation, and a more lively tempo. Iím sure there are Elvis enthusiasts out there who would bang their head against the nearest wall if they heard it, but even I enjoyed it in spite of my general distaste for remixed music.
It pains me to give this soundtrack a score as high as 6 out of 10 considering itís synthesized and because much of the music is forgettable and unoriginal. It leaves a lot to be desired. That said, if the soundtrack is taken for what it is: an easy bit of entertainment to compliment a genre of movie for which music has become less and less important, then I suppose it serves its purpose. The music conveys everything from excitement to angst, and in true Hans Zimmer fashion, the way it is written works superbly. I just donít know that itís good enough for the $10 or $15 dollars one would spend for it.
Read other recent reviews by Steve Ewing: Game of Thrones
, Winnie the Pooh
, Breakfast at Tiffany's