Film scores

Soundtrack review: Batman: Bad Blood (Frederik Wiedmann – 2016)

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“Batman: Bad Blood” is a 2016 direct-to-video animated superhero film which is part of the DC Universe Animated Original Movies. It serves as a sequel to the 2015 film Batman vs. Robin. The film was released on January 20, 2016 for iTunes and the Google Play Store, and on DVD and Blu-ray on February 2, 2016. Jason O’Mara, Sean Maher, and Stuart Allan reprise their roles from the previous films with Morena Baccarin returning from Son of Batman as Talia al Ghul. Freddie Wiedmann also reprises his role as musical wizard of this universe. I have just listened to “Justice League vs Teen titans” and it was a cracking action score.

This score seems to be a different affair. Different story, more personal, focused on fewer characters so the epic scale is toned down. The music doesn’t have the same stride as it probably deals with the doubts and tribulations of a single hero. This score is less orchestral and more electronic oriented and seems more down to earth compared to the heights at which “Teen titans” was soaring. If that score was epic, this was falls more into the thriller category. I like the electric pulses which remind me sometimes of the flashes from the “Transformer” scores.

I love a good cue title and I have to remark one like “The pain behind the mask”. This title alone is almost as satisfying to me as a great cue. Now I have watched a lot of Batman movies and cartoons and played the computer games and somehow the tone that Freddie Wiedmann chose for this score feels right. There is a special kind of darkness and sadness that surrounds this character and the music of “Bad blood” captures it well. It’s not just the character though as there is a special muddy darkness to Gotham as well and there’s no mistaking where the action takes place.

Just as I thought, when the action demands the presence of more characters like in “Batwing and Robin” the music switches back to epic and connects with the other scores from the expanded universe. The second half of the score gets more alert and action oriented but once again without the fantasy element. The music is cold and almost mechanic at points making me think of a very calculated villain.

I am a big fan of the breakout moments like “In one piece” when the music really takes off. It’s very interesting to me how the music basically shows me when the action is on the ground and when it moves above the roofs; at least this is how I hear it.

As every other DC Animated Universe score written by Freddie Wiedmann, this one tells a different story which is just as exciting. The composer manages to build more on this universe with ever new album and I am sure he could do this forever without a dull moment.

 

 

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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