The Amazing Spider-Man (James Horner)

Final Musings: Horner delivers big time with his masterfully crafted web of musical ideas. A bold theme, enticing action and a creative musical atmosphere are tightly woven together by the meticulous spider that is Horner. The product? One of the best super-hero scores to come out in a while. Prepare to be taken on a fun adventure back to old-school comic book film scoring.

 With nearly every successful franchise receiving either a reboot or an endless course of needless sequels, it seems like Hollywood might be running out ideas for their usual cash-in blockbuster flicks. Marvel’s latest, The Amazing Spider-man might just be the most pointless of them all. Having only been released 5 years after the conclusion Sam Raimi’s own successful Spider-man trilogy, the need to reboot a remarkably recent, well-appreciated franchise was baffling. The film ended up being an enjoyable effort however. Critics praised director Marc Webb’s capable directing and the gratifying ensemble cast. Although even in its success, the film couldn’t escape its inevitable complaints of redundancy in its already-done origin concept. Now, with the path that film music in the comic book universe has taken, James Horner was certainly the last person anyone would have expected to get this assignment. So it shouldn’t be too surprising to hear that it took some begging from the director to get the famed titan of industry to sign on. The veteran composer has only made one venture into the superhero genre with his exuberantly heroic score for The Rocketeer. But with a career like his, expectations were pretty high for this score. On the other hand, fans were also worried and waited in fear to see if Horner too had fallen victim to the modern scoring methodology; a contagion that seems to have caught the best of composers in the genre.

So what do we get in the end? One word is all you need to describe the score. Refreshing. That’s it. This score, in every sense of the word is refreshing. It’s a wonderful breath of fresh air after a tiring line of texture-based, ostinato-driven, Zimmer-style scores for our beloved heroes in their ever colourful tights. Horner’s score is explicitly old-fashioned in its nature. With a helluva bold main theme (something you don’t hear much these days in summer movies), the composer guarantees his score a prominent presence in film. And contrary to the naysayers of the striking scores of yesteryear, Horner’s music works remarkably well to aid the film (to the point where even film critics found themselves in admiration of the music). There is a lot to like here. Read the rest of this entry »

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