Composer of the month Hans Zimmer month JNH Thursday

Soundtrack review: Batman begins (Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard – 2005)

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this is one of my go to scores when I’m in need of deep reflection

 

Christopher Nolan’s “Batman begins” is one of the best origin stories put on screen. But this is not just the dark knight’s origin story… it is also the origin story of one of the best director / composer matches ever: the one between Nolan and Hans Zimmer. This is where it all started and when I listen to Interstellar I am amazed to realize how far they’ve gone together…

Still, the gentlest of The Dark Knight trilogy scores wouldn’t have worked without the sensitivity that James Newton Howard brought. I am still grateful that my two favorite composers got to work together and I have Christopher Nolan to thank for this.

Even if I consider the trilogy Hans Zimmer’s work, this first score has James Newton Howard’s melancholy and subtle darkness. Hans wrote the action music, Newton Howard wrote the drama parts, and, in this one, the darkness wins. Still, this was before the Joker, before Bane, before disturbing motifs, before metallic and raw cues and before industrial sounds. “Batman begins” is all about the heart. It’s a gentle flap of a bat’s wings in the dark, a reflection of a soul, a quiet and deep memory. There’s no aggressiveness in this score, because James Newton Howard’s touch melts down any violent instincts and shows the beauty of the character. There are a lot of doubts and shadows in “Batman Begins”. This is a score to listen to very attentively, because it has many layers of dark.

Still, the action cues composed by Hans Zimmer stand out. “Mollossus” is one of the most exciting tracks from the trilogy, a relentless race towards an explosive climax. This cue doesn’t break the rhythm of the score; it morphs from the same sounds.

Even if, like the movie, it’s the weakest of the trilogy, the score for “Batman begins” is still one of my most frequent listens. The wonders from “The dark knight” and “The dark knight rises” wouldn’t have existed without the seeds planted here.
This is one of my go to scores when I’m in need of deep reflection…

Cue rating: 88 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 48 / 60

Album excellence: 78%

Highlights:

Vespertilio

Eptesicus

Barbastella

Artibeus

Macrotus

Antrozous

Nycteris

Molossus

Corynorhinus

Lasiurus

 

About the author

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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