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Ant-Man and the Wasp
  • Composed by Christophe Beck
  • Hollywood Records / 56m

One of the most entertaining of the Marvel movies, Ant-Man was refreshingly free of the bloated feel that dogs a lot of them – just the right blend of wit and action, and at times a pleasingly small-scale feeling (appropriately enough).  Now here’s the sequel, Ant-Man and the Wasp, with Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly reprising their roles and Peyton Reed returning in the director’s chair.  The film has again attracted positive notices, especially for its sense of fun and general lightness.

Christophe Beck’s score was one of the first film’s big assets, especially the wonderfully sassy main theme which fits the main character like a glove and is one of the most memorable in the whole series.  Perhaps people were a little surprised last time round just how strong Beck’s score was, given his more usual association with comedies – no surprises this time, then, and I’m sure most people would be perfectly happy with more of the same.

Christophe Beck

That’s pretty much what we get.  The album opens with the theme for Lilly’s character, the Wasp, which is cut from very much the same cloth as Ant-Man’s theme: “It Ain’t Over Till the Wasp Lady Stings” is a terrific piece, opening with deceptively epic-sounding dramatic music before the theme kicks in.  It’s a little more street-smart than Ant-Man’s theme, without that little nerdy underbelly that was so perfect last time round.  Perhaps it doesn’t quite stick in the memory as much, but it’s still great.

Perhaps the score as a whole isn’t quite as strong this time round: after that wonderful opening, a few minutes go by without much of interest before things kick into life in “World’s Greatest Grandma”, as we hear Ant-Man’s theme for the first time, in a kind of eight-bit variation that’s a load of fun.  Even more fun is its fresh arrangement for the end titles, “Anthropodie”, which is simply outstanding: opening with piano playing a disguised version of his theme, it starts building and building before a heavy keyboard presence takes over and launches the theme off in a very satisfying way.

In between here there are various good moments, but I have to say the album does take a while to warm up: while it’s doing so, the lighthearted drama of “A Little Nudge”, with its sweeping string version of Wasp’s theme, is a treat; there’s a lovely soft interlude in “Ava’s Story” which proves really touching; and I really like the variations on the opening riff of Ant-Man’s theme in “Tracker Swarm”.  That opening segment of Wasp’s theme finally gets to shine in extended form in “Cautious as a Hurricane”, where it is revealed to have an elegiac quality.

Uncharacteristically, I love “I Shrink, Therefore I Am” in which the orchestra is joined by a load of very modern synths – it’s dynamic and exciting.  Immediately following this is one of the score’s softest cues, “Partners”, which does have a bit of tragedy to it but is quite moving.  “Windshield Wipeout” is a terrific action track built on fragments of Wasp’s theme, with some truly ferocious writing for the horns and trombones.  The darker action track “Ghost = Toast” is perhaps the pick of the bunch, the choir adding a massive extra layer.  After that, “Reduce Yourself” is another great set of variations on Ant-Man’s riff.

I think Ant-Man was one of the strongest scores in this series and this sequel score doesn’t quite live up to it – at its best it is brilliant but there are parts of the album which go by without much grabbing the attention, particularly in the first half.  Still, it’s great to hear that theme again and the new one for Wasp is almost as good.  I hope this isn’t the last trip to the well for Christophe Beck because he’s certainly left his mark.

Rating: *** 1/2

See also:
Ant-Man Christophe Beck

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  1. Benjamin (Reply) on Wednesday 18 July, 2018 at 05:57

    Oh my god I’m sorry I’m still laughing from the fact that the message about this website using cookies had to be dismissed by clicking a button that said “whatever.” xD Was that your idea James? Because that’s brilliant!