Film scores

Soundtrack review: Ant-man (Christophe Beck – 2015)

Ant-Man New Heiest Clip

Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 2 ends with the introduction of Ant-man. A lot of people have been looking forward to this and there was that whole fracas about changing directors and all but in the end, from what I’ve read, the movie is wonderful. I can’t wait to see Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas give life to a new character which I will be happy to follow and root for for years to come. I know this will be one of the lightest and most amusing Marvel films. The score was written by Christophe Beck. Now he is already in my hall of fame and will never leave it even if he stops writing music. He is the one who provided the musical life of “Buffy the vampire slayer” and all the bandwidth in the world couldn’t allow me to express how much his music meant to me for a lot of years. His 2015 has been solid with a lot of great moments on “Good kill” and especially “Red army”.

You have to see the smile on my face as the “Theme for Ant-man” plays. James Bond meets Mission: Impossible meets a stray big band and they all come up with this charming and catchy secret agent theme. I feel this cue as a celebration of joy and adventure and it fits everything I imagined about the movie and character. Pin this one right up there on the billboard with the most memorable Marvel character themes.

The main character is originally a thief and I can hear that in the sneakiness of the music. There’s always a wink in there thrown by the composer both in the most serious cues and in the jollier ones. The music also sounds alert and always on the run. I like that. I catch a glimpse of what is to me the “Marvel superhero sound” at the end of “Escape from Jail”. It’s that orchestral exaggeration that every Marvel composer uses from time to time.

When the action takes a break the emotional pieces are just as wonderful. Can’t wait to see the scene “San Francisco, 1987” completes because this little theme really got to me and made me care. It’s a rare moment in the adventurous and agitated sea that is “Ant-man” but a most welcome one. There are a lot of moments in this score that remind me of the special effervescence I heard in Lorne Balfe’s “Penguins of Madagascar” last year. There’s big band sound, there’s an awesome percussion that makes me nod my head constantly (how addictive is “Old man have safe”?) and I know I will listen to this score a lot of times.

I think the cue “First mission” represents best the fabric of Christophe Beck’s score. If you don’t have patience to hear the entire score at first, try the main theme and then this cue and you will be hooked. I’ve rarely heard Beck so joyful and addictive, so alert and exuberant. It’s a joy to listen to “Ant-man” from start to finish. The score has everything you could ask for: a kick ass theme, funny secret agent vibes and also moments as dark as the early Batman scores. There’s emotion, there’s adventure and there isn’t a single note in excess. Happy to hear Christophe Beck in such a fine form. Do not miss this one.

PS There is a PS to the score, the awesome and groovy “Tales to astonish!” which is the main theme written in a surf kind of way, just like the brilliant quirky finish to Brian Tyler’s “Iron man 3”

Cue rating: 94 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 38 / 53

Album excellence: 72%

Highlights:

Theme From Ant-Man

Escape From Jail

Ant 247

San Francisco, 1987

Tiny Telepathy

First Mission

Signal Decoy

Old Man Have Safe

Antfiltration

Your Mom Died A Hero

Scott Surfs On Ants

Into The Hornet’s Nest

Insecticide

A Center For Ants!

Fight Of The Bumblebee

Ants On A Train

Small Sacrifice

About Damn Time

Tales To Astonish!

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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