Deadpool has always been a character centered around breaking rules, which is why I find it slightly puzzling that he has a score that (for the most part) is very traditional superhero.
If I am honest, I wasn’t particularly interested in reviewing the score for this film at first. At least, not until I heard who was scoring it. Tyler Bates is a well known composer (he brought you Guardians of the Galaxy and Watchmen) and immediately piqued my interest. Overall I would say his score to Deadpool 2 is good, but in places alarmingly similar to his previous work as well as taking a lot of traditional superhero music tropes which is a tad disappointing considering he is scoring a character that is so much more than that.
The first track is entitled X-Men Arrive, and within a few seconds we are treated to Bates’ main theme for the film. It is upbeat, heroic and unfortunately gone almost as quickly as it arrived. The theme utilises brass with a full backing orchestra (something which seems to be making a bit of a comeback at the moment) and sounds very X-Men, with a similar fashion to John Ottman’s X-Men theme from the Bryan Singer films.
Hello Super Powers is the first action cue of the score, and has guitar take centre stage with the orchestra behind it. Like most of this album, this track is very short coming in at just under one minute, which is a shame as for the most part this cue sounds like Bates is building up to something before getting cut off right beforehand.
Vanessa is the love theme for Deadpool 2, and it uses choirs and piano that combine together for quite an emotional cue. It is a slight shame I feel that this theme is a bit generic in the way of a traditional love theme and does not really push the boat out as a score for Deadpool should. That being said, it is still a nice piece of music that gives this score the first piece of real emotion so far.
The next action cue (Mutant Convoy) is actually pretty decent as the score steps out of its comfort zone for the first time. This track combines superhero-style action music that uses orchestra with some great sounding synth as well as a little bit of James-Bond-spy-style added to the mix. The result of this combination is a pretty good action cue that puts the score to Deadpool 2 in the breaking-the-rules corner that it should be in. This idea is continued somewhat in The Name Is Cable, which sounds to me like the theme for Cable, the villain of Deadpool 2. This track utilises synth and orchestra for a pretty menacing and interesting villain theme, which is a rarity in recent scores.
Sorry For Your Loss brings back that epic X-Men style main theme for a sad, emotional rendition that works really well. I would say that the main theme is probably the best thing about the score to Deadpool 2, which is a bit of a shame because it only appears a select few times on the album as a whole. Still, when it is used, it is used well.
Docking marks the next appearance of the main theme, and brings it back for an epic full orchestra version that really soars. The rest of the track continues on in a hopeful superhero-like manner and despite its slightly generic nature this cue makes for a very enjoyable one. Bates then brings in Cable’s theme again for The Orphanage, a slow, mournful track that really hammers home the emotional side to this score.
The final track for Deadpool 2 brings back that epic main theme for one last time before sounding out the film with some ominous-sounding violins. It makes for an interesting cue that juggles between upbeat heroic and edge-of-your-seat scary.
Overall though, the score to this film has its moments but for the most part is a tad dull. The main theme is great but is very underused, appearing only a couple times when really it should be the centrepiece of the score. The love theme is good if a little generic, and the villain theme combines orchestra and synth in a unique way but is as underused as the main one. Probably the best thing about this score is its combination of different musical styles in its action cues, as they make for some pretty entertaining and unpredictable listening.
Tyler Bates’ Deadpool 2 is an interesting score that tries in small amounts to break the rules of traditional superhero scoring, but is bogged down by a lot of generic parts as well as empty sounding filler music.
Standout Cue: 8. Mutant Convoy