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Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol. 2 by Tyler Bates (Review)

posted Apr 21, 2017, 12:41 PM by Kaya Savas

Tyler Bates continues his collaboration with director James Gunn for Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol. 2. The first film was a test to see if Marvel could launch lesser known back-catalogue characters into something big, and they succeeded. Guardians Of The Galaxy’s humor and retro vibe struck a chord with audiences and now they’re back for a second film with a third on the way. Tyler Bates’ first score was a pleasant surprise by approaching the adventure score with classic orchestral sensibilities. Bates gave us a score infused with thrills, fun, heroism and romanticism that made for a good time. That continues here, but thankfully the score feels a bit more fleshed out with some interesting characteristics.

More or less, the first Guardians score was pleasant and inoffensive orchestral action. Nothing about the score though made it feel unique or bold. The main theme felt like an echo of Silvestri’s Avengers theme, and that doesn't change here. But what does change is that the music here feels more at home and feels like it’s more comfortable with the characters and tone of the movie. I’d be willing to bet that Marvel erred on the side of caution when launching Guardians the first time to make sure everything was played safe. Here you can feel Bates being more of himself and his sound. There’s also a lot more character development and emotional arcs that seemed absent from the first movie. The use of chorus is great and gives the whole narrative this grand operatic feel. As we move through the story and build up to the climax and resolution, it was great to hear some great thematic structure and momentum that built to actual payoffs. The score has a surprising amount of heart as it does action, and by the time everything wraps up you feel you got to experience a score built for these characters.

Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol. 2 is definitely an improvement over the first score in terms of the music feeling a lot less generic than the previous outing. The main theme is still a very generic sounding heroic theme, but the way its varied and used throughout this time feels a little more unique since the narrative is stronger this time around. Fun action moments build towards emotional payoffs, and even though the score is stylistically very familiar it still exudes Tyler Bates’ sensibilities as a storyteller for another enjoyable journey.