- Composed by Steve Jablonsky
- Varèse Sarabande / 2012 / 77:28
I remember playing the game Battleship when I was younger. I don’t really remember it featuring an armada of invading Transformer-like aliens, but perhaps my memory’s playing tricks. It’s been so successful that follow-up films have already been greenlit – I am particularly looking forward to Monopoly, in which an armada of invading Transformer-like aliens attempts to take over the world by skilfully buying and selling properties. The Transformers similarity of Battleship even extends to its score, composed by Steve Jablonsky who has made his name on that franchise. After a couple of tracks on my first listen I assumed this score was going to be more of the same – easy-listening fluff, Batman Begins-style action ostinatos. I was preparing to copy-and-paste from my “it’s OK but won’t win any awards” template, had my fingers poised over Ctrl+V when… oh deary me, “Full Attack” starts.
Fans of Rice Krispies may well get a shock if they listen to the music over breakfast because the snaps, crackles and pops will continue coming from their stereo long after the cereal has been consumed. That’s essentially what the score is – the occasional burst of power anthem punctuating endless repetition of electronic snaps, crackles and pops. A case could be made that there is in fact more musical value in a recording of a bowl of Rice Krispies. Still, if that’s what floats your boat then get your incontinence pads ready because you have a whole 78 minutes of it here. I wouldn’t expect the music for a film as banal-looking as this one to be anything particularly creative – and I’m hardly the biggest fan of the Transformers scores – but even those low expectations turned out to be wildly optimistic. There’s one idea here – representing the aliens with metallic clangs – and it’s just repeated ad nauseum. I’m sure it doesn’t harm the film, and sadly that’s the level the bar seems to have been set these days for blockbusters like this. The album certainly harms my brain. *