Music By Alexandre Desplat
20 Tracks/Disc Time: 60:53
Grade: A+ (BEST OF 2014)
After a year of teasers and much anticipated hype, the return of the Japan's greatest cinematic creation is back. "Godzilla" is now back on the big screen this weekend after the very long and disasterous misfire that was released by Sony in 1998. This "Godzilla" is the one that fans of the original films had hoped for when Sony's film was announced and now Warner Bros. has more than rectified the situation by producing one of the best reviewed summer tentpole films so far with both "Transformers Age Of Extinction" and "X-Men Days Of Future's Past" about to open soon. Under the more than capable direction of Gareth Edwards, who made a sensational splash with the hit indie film, "Monsters" has assembled a solid cast that includes Aaron Taylor-Johnson ("Kick-Ass"), Elizabeth Olsen ("Oldboy"), Juliette Binoche, Ken Watanabe ("Batman Begins") and Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad") which brings back our favorite sea farying creature to battle a group of mutations, The Mutos who have become a danger to all of humanity. The film will no doubt be a blockbuster hit.
One important element in creating this new world where Godzilla roams is the celebrated work of composer Alexandre Desplat, who has been on a very strong streak of excellent scores that includes both "Grand Budapest Hotel" and the brilliant, "The Monuments Men" from earlier this year. Desplat has a gift for thematic energy which is perfect for this film and one the reasons this score works so well for a film of this type is because there is plenty of room to write memorable material as well as maintaining that grand, bombastic sound that Desplat stated in an interview recently that the bombastic sound was necessary and is definitely one of the score's terrific charms along with the addition of the traditional Japanese Shakuhachi flute as an ode to the original films and a grandiose choir.
"Godzilla!" opens some rather dark ominous strains with plusing synth motif that starts to build up to something thematically aggressive and bombastic with sweeping strings and brass with a cool added wailing electric guitar added which is very effective. The score is filled suspense and mystery as Desplat builds up the tension with melodic subtlety with tracks such as "Inside The Mines", "Let Them Fight", "Missing Spore", "To Q Zone", and "Muto Hatch" which features some very creepy synth effects and builds up to become a bombastic track in the end. Then really ratches up the action with sheer bombastic gusto which was obviously required for this score with action packed tracks which are stupendous highlights such as "The Power Plant", "Vegas Aftermath", "Airport Attack", "Golden Gate Chaos", "Entering The Nest", "Two Against One" and "Last Shot" which really make the album such an exciting listen on this CD as well as the film which culminates in one great memorable piece in "Godzilla's Victory", which is a very special track where Desplat just brings all of his themes together one last time both bombastic victory, but as well as a touch of drama that ends with the seminal "Back To The Ocean" that reprises the scores' main thematic material and has a romantic like sweep to the music that it is very tender along with one last bombastic charge of his exciting material the way the film should end. In between all of this the track, "Back To Janjira" gives a moment to both reflect and breathe as a delicate love theme is introduced right before Godzilla's theme takes over again and dominates the rest of the material.
Watertower Music's album is a terrific release that features plenty of excitement, energy and drama that should be in every blockbuster tentpole film including the very disappointing "Amazing Spider-Man 2" score, that deserved a great fate that this film definitely has. There's also one important element that it has that these big tent pole scores have been missing of late: THEMES! That's what makes this score stand out so exceptionally well. There have been reports and complaints that a large number of choir tracks are missing from this album and not having seen the film yet, I can't comment on it or why they were dropped from the album entirely. "Godzilla" is easily the best Summer score release to start off the season and with the other scores like "X-Men" and "Transformers" coming out, we'll see how well those hold up compared to this one. So far, this score is awesome! Enthusiastic Thumbs Way Way Up!!!