In honor of Avengers: Infinity War‘s release last week, I thought I would keep going with Marvel and tackle another MCU score in a review. This week: Michael Giacchino’s Spider-Man: Homecoming.
I have always thought very highly of Michael Giacchino. His Star Trek scores are literally out of this world, and that coupled with a fantastic theme for Doctor Strange has cemented him in my mind as a fantastic composer. So when I first heard he would be the next in line to score for Spider-Man, I was thrilled. However, I was also slightly skeptical. While Giacchino is great, he isn’t quite on the level of the composers who have tackled Spider-Man before him; namely Danny Elfman, Hans Zimmer and the amazing James Horner. All of them created fantastic themes and scores for Spider-Man, and while I liked Giacchino I wasn’t quite sure if he could pull off another Amazing Spider-Man. So I held my breath and awaited his score. When the day finally came, the first thing I did was dive straight into the main theme in Spider-Man: Homecoming Suite.
And what a theme it is. This version of Spider-Man is very young and upbeat, so my biggest worry was that the score would reflect that fact a lot and wouldn’t be epic and dramatic as a score for Spider-Man should be. But boy, was I wrong. While Giacchino’s theme does have notions of upbeat, it equally has epic and soaring elements when it needs to. These in combination make for a kick-ass theme that is definitely up there with Elfman’s and Zimmer’s (not quite at Horner’s level however). Giacchino uses orchestra and plenty of brass to illustrate his bombastic new Spider-Man theme, and it sounds amazing.
In line with my normal reviews, I will move on to the track highlights of the score. The first sets the pace of the album rather well, with a fantastically orchestrated version of the 1960’s Spider-Man TV show theme that plays over the Marvel Studios logo in the film itself. It was always a great piece for Spider-Man, and with a modern orchestration it sounds even better. A great way to start off the album, Mr Giacchino.
Academic Decommitment is a wonderfully upbeat and more casual version of the Spider-Man: Homecoming theme. It sits perfectly in line with the new Peter Parker as he goes through a normal school day in the film. Giacchino uses plenty of drums and brass again here, and the music is all the better for it. The theme also presents itself again in the first major action cue of the score; Drag Racing. This time it is much less casual and far more epic however as Spider-Man chases down a van of criminals. The rapidity of this track is amazing, and that combined with the new theme and a wonderful orchestration makes for a damn good action cue. And to top it off, at the end of it we are treated to the first sighting of the villain theme; Vulture‘s theme. It is dark and dramatic to clash against Spider-Man‘s upbeat and epic, and is a surprisingly good villain theme given that Marvel films usually fall short with them.
Monumental Meltdown is the next and best action cue on the score. It is very fast paced and you can really feel the peril Peter’s classmates are in as time runs out for Spider-Man to save them. Once again Giacchino utilises traditional orchestra with brass and drums to make the several appearances of Spider-Man‘s new theme as loud and epic as they can be. The music gets faster and faster towards the end until we are treated to a fantastically triumphant rendition of the theme for Spider-Man as he saves his classmates. One thing we also hear towards the end of this track is a small part of the love theme for this film, and while it isn’t as strong as the two other main themes it is isn’t bad at all. It’s just a shame this is one of only a few times it is heard on the score.
Giacchino treats us in Bussed A Move to another soaring version of his new Spider-Man theme, as well as another fantastic action cue that keeps its pace through Lift Off, Fly-By-Night Operation and Vulture Clash. These are all best listened to together as a 13-and-a-half-minute action suite, with fast-paced and epic superhero battle music in combination with several epic appearances by Spider-Man and Vulture‘s themes. Giacchino really makes use of his orchestra here as his music just sounds great, and makes for a very enjoyable suite for Spider-Man.
A Stark Contrast houses a special appearance with Alan Silvestri’s Avengers theme making a small yet wonderful cameo. We also get a slow and emotional version of Giacchino’s Spider-Man theme, and it sounds just as amazing as the others. This track really shows that Giacchino can do emotional just as well as action.
Speaking of action, we get a small last piece of it in No Frills Proto-COOL, where Spider-Man suits up and we get to hear his epic theme again in all its glory. It is a fantastic way to end the score (not to mention the Homecoming Suite I talked about earlier) and really cements Michael Giacchino as the next great composer for Spider-Man.
The score to Spider-Man: Homecoming is a great one. While perhaps not quite on the level of Elfman’s theme or Horner’s amazing score, it is still pretty damn good as a whole and has a very epic kick-ass theme for the new Spider-Man. Giacchino himself has said as well that the theme will develop alongside the hero for his next few films, so it will be very interesting to see where Giacchino takes the theme. For now though, we have a decent main theme alongside a pretty great villain theme in combination with a well orchestrated and great sounding Spider-Man score. Can’t wait for the next one.
Standout Cue: 22. Spider-Man: Homecoming Suite