"Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes"
21 Tracks/Disc Time: 77:08
"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" is the latest hit sequel to 2011's surprise blockbuster "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" starring James Franco, Frieda Pinto and Andy Serkis as Caesar and directed by newcomer Rupert Wyatt. However for this installment of the series, Wyatt could not return as director and taking over is Matt Reeves, who scored a surprise it with the fun thriller, "Cloverfield" and the horror thriller, "Let Me In" the remake of the Danish film, "Let Me This sequel featuring the new cast of Gary Oldman ("Immortal Beloved"), Jason Clarke ("Zero Dark Thirty"), Keri Russell ("Felicity"), Toby Kebbell ("Rock N' Rolla"), Kirk Acevedo ("OZ.") and Judy Greer ("Arrested Development") along with the return of the great Andy Serkkis revolves a growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a peaceful surviving band of human survivors (Clarke and Russell) of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, as the two sides co-exist with one another learning to live in harmony. It proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war led a ruthless leader (Oldman) of a group of terrified survivors who are out to exterminate the apes and the outcome will determine who will emerge as Earth's dominant species.
The "Planet of the Apes" films and even the short lived television series has had a distinct and grand musical legacy that seems to be getting better with age. Starting with Oscar Winner Jerry Goldsmith's masterful and innovative score to the original 1968 film that ranks amongst the finest of the genre and also returned for 1971's "Escape From The Planet Of The Apes" providing a lighter and more 70's vibe which was then followed by interesting and unique work by composers Leonard Rosenman, Tom Scott, Lalo Schifrin (on the short lived 1974 television series), Danny Elfman for the 2001 remake and Patrick Doyle for the prequel "Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes" three years ago. Up for the task of following the musical tradition of the series is Oscar Winner Michael Giacchino, who had worked with Director Matt Reeves on "Cloverfield", and "Let Me In" previously. Giacchino's music has been stellar since winning the Oscar for Disney's "Up!" and the hit series, "Lost" wrapped in 2010 with solid scores for "Super 8", "John Carter", "Monte Carlo", "Star Trek Into Darkness", and "Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol".
The music for this installment of the series is somewhat of a mixed bag that reminds you alot of Giacchino's past works in "Super 8", "Mission: Impossible", "John Carter" and the series "Lost" which is clearly evident in alot of the material while adding a real heavy dose of percussion material that is very exotic and also chaotic especially in the action material here. "Level Plaguing Field" starts off with some low key piano solos that remind me of James Horner which isn't necessarily a bad thing and then a choir takes over which is actually quite lovely that starts off the album very well. The score then starts to shape itself out musically with the integration of many percussion rumblings and a chorus that are full of energy and somewhat exciting highlighted by the tracks "Look Who's Stalking", "Monkey See, Monkey Coup", "Gorilla Warfare", "The Apes Of Wrath", "Gibbon Take", and "Enough Monkeying Around" which really channels a little bit of both Jerry Goldsmith and Danny Elfman's percussive takes on their films, but there is some fun to be had here which is pretty good for what it is and really nothing more. Aside from the rumbling action that Giacchino has really unleashed here, he does provide some nice moments of drama that are the best part of this score to be honest and yet unfortunately it is like his "Lost" music only more expansive and developed which is the positive part of it. Highlighted by "Aped Crusaders", "The Great Ape Processional", "Past Their Primates", and "Primates For Life", these are the tracks that should've been the real focus of this score throughout and it is understandable as to why Giacchino underscored the action material this way after all it is a "Planet Of The Apes" movie after all. The score ends with the lengthy suite "Planet Of The End Credits" which is pretty much a reprise of all the best material and themes from the score itself which is very good and a good finish.
Sony Classical's album is a long and generous album that features close to 80 minutes of music which really does overstay its welcome at times and becomes a little redundant. That beauty of Patrick Doyle's previous score to his film was that the album was a tight, lean and muscular listen that really made the most of its 53 minutes. Here Giacchino's score while I admire alot of it, feels as if you've been down this journey before with his music. There is plenty to like and plenty that feels a little flat at times, but it's not that bad of a score as compared to alot of them that have come out in recent years. "Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes" isn't a bad score, but it just isn't all that memorable unfortunately which is a major surprise coming from Giacchino. A reluctant thumbs down one this one.
The soundtrack is now available for pre-order on CD at Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KDUB42A/ref=s9_newr_gw_d44_g15_i3?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-7&pf_rd_r=0QHQTH5A5B1FR04VAHZB&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1688200342&pf_rd_i=507846 and already available digitally on iTunes