Franchises

Soundtrack review: Jurassic World (Michael Giacchino – 2015)

jurassic

A Michael Giacchino action score? Yes please. I could even ignore the plot, the history, the franchise and just start with the music because this will surely be a winner. Still some words must be spared for this intro, impatient as I might be to hear the music, because this is the Jurassic Park franchise and this is one of those original scores by John Williams that a lot of people (me not included) revere. The Jurassic Park score and theme wasn’t among my favorite Williams compositions and I wasn’t a big fan of the movies either. For me, this is simply Michael Giacchino scoring a movie about dinosaurs in the modern world. I will also refrain from praising the funny and smart cue titles that he always comes up with.

I like the menacing way in which the music starts. This is just how I imagine a movie about dangerous creatures, be it Godzilla, King Kong, Jaws or whatever would sound. No surprises either when we meet our unsuspecting family which will be the targets of the dinosaurs. I almost don’t have any patience for the introductory lines of this musical story as I can’t wait for the mayhem to begin. I know cues like “The family that strays together” and “Welcome to Jurassic world” are cute and sweet and all and beautifully written but I want to hear the roar. Ok, they are very beautifully written. And yes, I don’t need more than 5 minutes of this score to realize once again that Giacchino is John Williams’ rightful heir. I will say it over and over again until 30 years from now you will all be convinced or I will be the only one reading my reviews.

One of my favorite things about Michael Giacchino’s scores is that he always creates a musical story. The sounds he writes paint a majestic tapestry, a new world, something you can explore and understand, something you can grow with, care about, suffer with, get emotional about and finally bring to a satisfying conclusion. His scores are never a collection of unrelated cues. There are common threads, similar colors, motifs that dance and play and recur and I am just so happy to witness this development. And the themes…. What can you say about “As the Jurassic World turns”? What more do you need from a film music theme? Is there any better feeling that hearing such a gorgeous explosion of melodic sounds? Is there any composer who can match this? Or a 90 minutes gem like “Fits and jumpstarts” which manages to create a rollercoaster of emotions in such little time. In fact, rollercoaster is one of the words I would use to describe this score; except that its excitement doesn’t come from the sudden drops but from the climbs that take it to a whole new level from time to time.

The high this theme gave me doesn’t subside for the duration of the score. Through the jungle of addictive stabbing action sounds that are trademark Michael Giacchino and I never get tired of, all the way to the fewer but equally precious tender moments (I’m looking at you, sweeping, unreal “Nine to survival job”, a cue that should be the final cue for every score ever), “Jurassic World” is a celebration of film music; it’s in the same time an homage to greatest melodic orchestral music composers and a development of the style. Michael Giacchino is one of the few composers who keep the dream alive and who write legendary music in their own time. You don’t need 20 years to know this score will be a classic. It’s right here, right now. After the majestic “Jupiter ascending” and the playful “Tomorrowland”, he scores the hat trick right here with a score worthy of such a wonderful composer.

Cue rating: 94 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 47 / 77

Album excellence: 62%

Highlights:

Bury the Hatchling

Welcome to Jurassic World

As the Jurassic World Turns

Clearly His First Rodeo

Indominus Wrecks

Gyrosphere of Influence

Fits and Jumpstarts

The Dimorphodon Shuffle

Love in the Time of Pterosauria

Raptor Your Heart Out

Our Rex Is Bigger Than Yours

Growl and Make Up

Nine to Survival Job

The Park Is Closed

It’s a Small Jurassic World

The Hammond Lab Overture

The Brockway Monorail

 

 

 

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).

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment