Latest reviews of new albums:
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  • Composed by Steve Jablonsky
  • Reprise Records / 2011 / 59:47

Michael Bay’s latest two-hour advertisement for Hasbro toys is in cinemas now – and once more people are flocking to see it.  Bay is one of those critic-proof directors who seems to have the knack for making films that people really want to see.  Steve Jablonsky returns to the Transformers world for the third time in providing the score.  I was probably a little harsh on his music for the first film when it appeared – with as much in common with the fun, theme-driven Media Ventures action style of the 1990s as the dull, ambient Remote Control action style of the 2000s, it supported its film well enough and on balance the album was more enjoyable than I gave it credit for.  The second score (reportedly written in less-than-ideal circumstances) was a large backward step but this time round, Jablonsky has written the most enjoyable one in the series so far.

Of course there is no subtlety here and there is always the feeling that is all sounds a bit more like library music than anything actually written for a specific film, but despite that there are several very entertaining pieces.  One must forgive the fairly blatant lifts from elsewhere – sometimes from the composer’s boss man Zimmer (a little The Last Samurai here, a whole load of The Thin Red Line there) and also from Zack Hemsey’s trailer music from Inception, which is used pretty much verbatim and has created a bit of a stir with Hemsey himself (Google it).  It comes together to produce an enjoyable album, with some pretty energetic action music and the kind of stirring power anthems that many folks love most about this style of music cropping up all over the place.  High art it obviously is not, but neither would one expect it to be; it’s one of the most enjoyable scores in this style that’s come along in quite a long time.  ***

Buy Transformers: Dark of the Moon from and help support Movie Wave by following this link.

Tags: ,

  1. Edmund Meinerts (Reply) on Monday 18 July, 2011 at 14:54

    Good review, though I still find the first score to be the best and most thematic of the franchise (and, incidentally, I also feel that Your Highness is better than this is). Jablonsky does these much better than most of the other RC goons

    Out of interest, is there any chance of you going back and revising your original Transformers review, since your opinion has changed that much?