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War For The Planet Of The Apes by Michael Giacchino (Review)

posted Jul 11, 2017, 4:14 PM by Kaya Savas

Michael Giacchino’s talents and ability to hone in on emotions almost effortlessly through his music has seen him rise quickly to become one of the most in-demand composers today. The great thing about Michael was that he was an aspiring filmmaker before he became a composer, so he thinks like a filmmaker and not necessarily a musician. That’s why his scores stand out immensely and why his style is so unique and immediately recognizable. His best work obviously comes when he works with his closest collaborators, and Matt Reeves is one of those close collaborators. With Reeves directing, and a story that lends itself to really deep emotions there seemed to be a unique spark with Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes. Michael’s score was simply amazing, it was big and bold yet was able to make you feel things you wouldn't expect. Now for the finale in this modern Apes trilogy, Michael builds off of what he did last time to deliver a breathtaking score filled with its own personality but also with tons of emotional weight. The score not only feels like an extension of the last, but also feels like it has entered into new territory.

I find it a bit interesting trying to describe this score in words. While the word “war” is in the title of the film, the score itself doesn’t present itself as a war score. Sure there are grandiose moments of orchestral action but there is so much more going on with this score. Giacchino is definitely in “LOST” mode, meaning he’s scoring the characters extremely deeply with a nuanced approach versus say Spider-Man: Homecoming which was more about themes and action. The score has some great motifs that weave throughout and they bring forward such a deep emotional resonance whether it’s a delicate piano, a swelling orchestra or quirky Morricone-esque sounds. The last one being a unique surprise to this score. Some very slight Morricone stylings find themselves into this score, but of course they are done through Michael’s style and the end result makes the score stand out in a great way. It would be too much to say that this is a spaghetti western infused score, but you can taste the pasta and sauce in the aftertaste for sure. In the end though everything is structured so perfectly as we push towards this amazing climax that ends with a theme which ties us back to the last film. The whole experience keeps you moving through the narrative, and the score is constantly working with nice long tracks that become the backbone of the story.

War For The Planet Of The Apes is Giacchino writing in top form. Many of the blockbuster films he’s been scoring have been great fun distractions, but something about them felt like there was inspiration missing. That inspired feeling returns with War For The Planet Of The Apes. The score is filled with Giacchinoisms, gorgeous themes, powerful melodic structures, rich character detail, and above all an emotional core that grabs you and never lets go. The score is moving, it’s exciting and even quirky at times. It’s a perfect world to get wrapped up and lost in, and it's some of his best writing in a while. This is summer escapism with heart and it doesn't get much better.